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Full text of "Lost for love [electronic resource]: a novel"

LOST FOR LOVE 



LOST FOR LOVE 



% foiiel 



BY THE AUTHOR OP 

"LADY AUDLEY'S SECEET," "AUEORA FLOYD" 

ETC. ETC. ETC./ 



Htnot^tH d^U'um 



LONDON 
JOHN AND ROBERT MAXWELL 

4, SHOE LANE, FLEET STKEET 
1878 



[AU rights reserved.} 



LOST FOR LOVE. 



CHAPTER I. 



" Oui, sans doute, tout meurt ; ce monde est un graiide r§ve, 
Et le peu de bonheur qui nous vient en ehemin, 
Nous n'avons pas plutot ce roseau dans la main, 
Que le vent nous l'enleve." 

De. Ollivant sat alone in his library and consulting-room, a 
Bpacious chamber built out at the back of his house in Wim- 
pole-street, after his day's work was ended — a long day and a 
heavy one ; for at six-and- thirty years of age the doctor found 
himself possessed of a great practice — a practice that recom- 
pensed him largely for his devotion to science, but left little 
margin in his life for pleasure. It may indeed be doubted if 
Dr. Ollivant knew the meaning of that word " pleasure," except 
so far as it was accessible to him in dictionaries. His father 
had been a hard-working — the world added money-grubbing — 
country practitioner, and, at the earliest stage in which the 
infant brain is open to receive impressions, had striven to imbue 
his son's mind with a correct idea of life, contemplated always 
from his own particular point of view : that life was meant for 
hard work — that without hard work no man could expect to 
succeed — that worldly success was the supreme good to which 
the soul of man could aspire. 

Cuthbert Ollivant learnt the lesson, but applied it after his 
own fashion. Had he possessed no higher brain than his 
father, he would most likely have restricted his notion of 
success — or, as his father called it, " getting on " — to the con- 
solidation and improvement of his father's practice, the steady- 
going old-fashioned family-surgeon business, in the sleepy old 
town of Long Sutton, Devonshire. But the lad happened to 



6 Lost for Love. 

be endowed with a larger mind than had illumined the Ollivant 
family within the present century ; and for him success meant 
originality — the fruition of new ideas, a step forward in the 
march of science ; or, if not absolute invention, at least such 
an application of the wisdom of the past as should achieve 
some fresh good in the present. 

For a youth with such yearnings, Long Sutton was not large 
enough. Samuel Ollivant well-nigh uprooted the scanty wisp 
of hair which encircled his bald crown when, after walking the 
hospitals and going through the usual curriculum, his son told 
l iim that he would return no more to the sleepy little Devon- 
shire town, where his race had abided and thriven from genera- 
tion to generation. His father might dispose of the good old 
family practice to whomsoever he would. He, Cuthbert, would 
remain in London — had indeed been already elected parish- 
doctor in a populous district by Bethnal-green. The pay was 
of the poorest, he wrote cheerfully, but the experience would 
be immense. 

Mr. Ollivant groaned and gnashed his teeth, and told his 
wife that her son was an idiot ; but nothing he could say to 
the benighted young man could shake his purpose. Cuthbert 
began his work in the purlieus of Bethnal-green at three- and- 
twenty years of age, and went on with it steadily till he was 
twenty-six; and, except at Christmas time, when lie came to 
the home of his forefathers for a duty-visit, Long Sutton knew 
him no more. After three years' unflagging labour — there had 
never been such a parish-doctor within the memory of the 
oldest overseer — he went abroad, studied in Prance and Ger- 
many, pushed on to St. Petersburg, made himself familiar with 
every school of medicine, and was called back to England, a 
few months before his thirtieth birthday, to attend his father's 
deathbed. 

"You've made a great mistake in life, Cuthbert," said the 
old man, during the one brief hour in which he was able to talk 
rationally with his son. "You might have made this a splendid 
practice, if you had worked with me for the last seven years ; 
as it is, the business has fallen off. I've been getting old; 
didn't like to have a stranger about me, so wouldn't take a 
partner. Pilby and Jackson have undermined me in the place, 
Cuthbert ; the practice isn't what it was when you were a boy 
at school, by three hundred a year. But I leave you a comfort- 
able little bit of money, in spite of everything. It's your 
mother's doing — there never was such a woman to save money." 

The " comfortable little bit of money " thus spoken of 
amounted to some thousands, quite enough to justify Cuthbert 
Ollivant in the step he took immediately after his father's 
funeral. He sold the Long Sutton practice to Filbv and 



Lost for Love. 1 

Jackson, who already had three-fourths of the town on their 
hooks, and by this purchase established a monoply. He would 
have sold his father's household goods also, but here his mother 
interposed. The chairs and tables might be old-fashioned, 
cumbrous, inelegant ; but they were the chairs and tables she 
had known all her married life. 

" Two-and-thirty years, Outhbert ; think of that ! " 

" I do, mother, and for that very reason think we ought to 
begin our new life with new furniture." 

" I am too old to begin a new life, dear, and I like the old 
things best." This with a tender glance at an ancient Spanish- 
mahogany sideboard that age had made almost as black as 
ebony. " They don't make such things now." 

"I'm rather glad they don't," remarked her profane son. "It 
will cost more money to move the things than they are worth, 
I believe, mother ; but if you like them, they shall be moved. 
I'd as soon sit upon one chair as another. I have no artisti-Tj 
tastes." 

So the ancient sideboard, the secretaires, and bureaus, antS 
four-post bedsteads of a bygone age — all pervaded by a certain 
grimness that stood for respectability — were conveyed from 
Long Sutton to the house which Cuthbert Ollivant had taken 
for himself in Wimpole-street, and being set up there, under 
Mrs. Ollivant's direction, made the London house almost as 
grim and dark and ancient-looking as the home of Outhbert's 
infancy. Perhaps Wimpole-street itself is hardly the gayest 
or brightest of thoroughfares. Its length is to the stranger 
akin to despair, and it has been hardly dealt with as to width, 
whereby the shadow of over-the-way broods sullenly upon the 
fronts of the houses that turn their backs to the afternoon sun. 
But Wimpole-street is eminently respectable, fashionable even, 
or at any rate appertaining to the West-end ; and Dr. Ollivant 
— he had taken the higher degree in Paris, and made haste now 
to obtain it in London — had chosen Wimpole-street as a fair base 
for his operations. He had no more to do with Bethnal-green, 
but he gave two hours of every morning — from eight till ten — to 
gratis patients. Por the first year of his Wimpole-street life they 
were almost his only patients. Then little by little his fame 
spread ; he had taken to himself a specialty during his continental 
travels, namely, the treatment of heart-disease — had written a 
little book upon this theme, and published the same in London 
and Paris. By the aid of this book he advertised himself into 
the notice of a good many idle people who fancied they had the 
>/eart-disease, and a few who were real sufferers. Rich old 
.'adies and gentlemen, who lived alone and lived too well, came 
to him, liked his manner — a grave and somewhat cold reserve, 
which was yet courteous, and implied profound wisdom — and 



8 Lost for Love. 

made him their physician in ordinary. "Ollivant on Cardiao 
Diseases " and " Ollivant on Auscultation " became almost 
standard works. In a word, Cuthbert Ollivant had succeeded, 
and by the time five years had run off the lease of the house in 
Wimpole-street had made for himself a position which he 
deemed the stepping-stone to future distinction. 

His mother lived with him now, as she had lived with him 
from the beginning, the careful mistress of his house, the in- 
telligent companion of his brief intervals of leisure. Her 
character presented a curious mixture of the ultra-prosaic with 
the intellectual and imaginative. She would lay down her 
volume of Wordsworth or Shelley to order the dinner or give 
out a week's supply of grocery. She made her son's money go 
farther than perhaps any one else in the world could have made 
it go. She would not suffer a stale crust of bread or a basin of 
dripping to be wasted between January and December ; yet she 
contrived to retain the respect of her servants, and was ac- 
counted a liberal mistress. Her son's simple dinners were 
ordered with a discretion and cooked with a nicety that could 
hardly have been exceeded at a West-end club. Every detail 
of the table was perfection, though no modern elegance, no 
phantom-like glass or rich-hued majolica, adorned the board. 
The old-fashioned heavily-cut decanters, the ponderous plate, 
sparkled and shone upon the snowy linen ; and pleasantest of 
all was the mother's face — a feminine likeness of the son's — 
with deep earnest eyes, white teeth, and mobile mouth. 

It was half-past nine o'clock, a November night, a wet night 
in a wet autumn, the rain beating heavily on the skylight above 
the doctor's head. He had dined, and spent his after-dinner 
hour with his mother, talking literature and politics, for she 
made it her business to be interested and well informed in 
everything that interested her son, and had come down to his 
own room to read — to read the last scientific book worth 
reading. 

An old-fashioned silver teapot, a breakfast cup and saucer, 
stood on a Chippendale table at his elbow. The doctor smiled 
to himself as he poured out the tea — a grave, half-ironical 
smile. 

" Old-bachelor ways already," he thought ; " tea-drinking and 
midnight study. But, then, I never was a young man — in the 
common acceptation of the phrase." 

A double knock at the hall-door caught his quick ear. 

" A cabman's knock," he said, with a little discontented look, 
and a longing glance at his open book ; " some dropper-in come 
for an evening's gossip — a nuisance, for I want to get at the 
bottom of this fellow's ideas." 

"This fellow" was the author of the book — a formidable 



jjost jot Jjove. 9 

volume of five hundred pages or so, half of which were still 
uncut. 

Dr. Olllvant was not famous for his social instincts ; but, as 
he was apt to remark to his mother, " a man can't go through 
the world without some people insisting upon knowing him ; " 
and a few people had been pertinacious enough to establish them- 
selves on familiar terms with the doctor, in spite of himself — 
Eelf-elected friends. They were for the most part of his own 
profession. He asked them to dinner two or three times in the 
year, and suffered them to drop in now and then of an evening, 
but gave no active encouragement to their visits. 

A card was brought him by his servant — an elderly man, who 
had been his father's factotum, and had accompanied the furni- 
ture from Long Sutton. Dr. Ollivant looked at it listlessly, 
then brightened with a flash of surprise. 

" Mark Chamney ! " he exclaimed, in a half-dreamy tone, 
" Mark Chamney ! " Then hurriedly to the servant, " Show the 
gentleman in here directly." 

He began to poke the fire furiously — a man's favourite form 
of hospitality, and then went to the door to receive his visitor. 

Mr. Chamney had been his school-friend more than twenty 
years ago, when he was a lad at a west-country public school— 
his bosom-friend in the days when he had some kind of belief in 
friendship. 

The unexpected visitor came out of the dim light of the hall 
into the clear white light of the doctor's study. A tall man, of 
the type known as lanky, with long loose limbs and a cadaverous 
countenance, redeemed from absolute ugliness by honest blue 
eyes — eyes that were mild and tender as a woman's. 

This was Mark Chamney, the doctor's senior by four years, 
and his protector in the days gone by. Chamney had been 
a dunce and an athlete. Cuthbert, a fragile youth of fourteen, 
had construed Homer and Virgil for his friend, whose prompt 
interference had shielded the younger boy from the school bullies. 

Cuthbert — himself in no manner deficient in pluck — had 
worshipped Mark as the very incarnation of force and courage 
— his Achilles, his Hector, his Ajax ; and they had parted at the 
close of Mark's last term, swearing to be friends for life, and had 
never seen each other from that day until this. 

3)r. Ollivant felt a faint pang of remorse at sight of the 
altered face — the same, but O, how changed! — remembering 
how little he had ever done to perpetuate this boyish friendship. 
But was not the other equally to blame? The two men clasped 
nands. 

" I should have known you anywhere," said Mark. 

Dr. Ollivant could hardly echo the declaration. He coxxld 
only grasv his friend's hand a little harder, and say,-^ 



10 Lost for Love. 

" You are about the only man in the world I should be glad 
to see to-night, Chamney." 

" And I am glad to hear you say as much, Ollivant, for I've 
come to claim the fulfilment of an old promise — a long-forgotten 
one, perhaps." 

" No," said the other gravely, " not forgotten, if you mean 
our old vow of life-long friendship. I have gone through life 
without acquiring the knack of making many friends. I doubt 
if I have ever made one real one since the days when you used 
to take my part against the Goliaths of Hillersley Grammar- 
school." 

This was said as heartily as it was in Cuthbert Ollivant to 
say anything — heartiness not being a characteristic of his 
manner. 

" Odd, that we should never have knocked up against each 
other in all these years," continued the doctor after a brief 
interval of silence, during which Mr. Chamney had dropped into 
a chair, with a certain air of listlessness or fatigue, widely 
different from that muscular exuberance which Cuthbert remem- 
bered at Hillersley. 

" Hardly so odd as it may appear at the first showing," 
answered Chamney. " Did you ever take any particular pains 
to look me up ? " 

" I don't believe I have had an idle day since I left Hillersley." 

"That means No. Well, Ollivant, if "you had looked for me, 
the result would have been pretty much the same ; for I have 
spent the best part of the interval on a sheep-run in Queens- 
land." 

The doctor felt relieved of some portion of that remorse which 
had seemed to weigh upon his spirit since Mark Chamney's 
entrance, 

" What took you to Queensland?" he asked, ringing the bell 
for the man-of-all-work, who seemed to have an intuitive know- 
ledge of what was wanted from him, as he came immediately, 
furnished with case bottles and a decanter of sherry on an old- 
fashioned silver tray — one of the heirlooms of the house of 
Ollivant. Even the case bottles were heirlooms, heavier and 
clumsier than modern bottles. 

" What took me to Queensland ? " repeated the visitor, extend- 
ing his long legs upon the doctor's hearth, and folding his gaunt 
arms. He was clothed from head to foot in a light gray stuff, 
which made him look his biggest. " A speculative temper, and 
an aversion to any mode of earning my living which was open 
to me at home. I was not a genius like you, Cuthbert. I 
always hated head-work, and was plucked ignominiously in 
every examination at Hillersley, as I daresay you remember. 
But I wasn't bad at figures, as long as I didn't see 'em upon 



Lost for Love. 11 

paper. I heard of men doing wonders out yonder in the sheep- 
line ; so, when my father — a prosperous solicitor at Exeter — ■ 
proposed making me his articled clerk, I saved myself the 
trouble of disputing the point, by running away. I needn't 
bore you with the details of my flight. I left Exeter with a few 
pounds in my pocket, and worked my way out to Australia, 
before the mast. I had rather a hard time of it for the first 
year or so, and made a nearer acquaintance with starvation 
than I cared about. But before the second year was over, I was 
manager for a man who had been lucky enough to get hold of 
one of the finest stations on the Darling Downs, extending 
upwards of ten miles in every direction. He held a squatter's 
lease from the government at a mere nominal rent, and on 
muster days I have stood at the gate and helped to count 
seventy thousand sheep as they went through. My employer 
made sixty thousand pounds in less than ten years, but con- 
trived to drink himself to death in the same time. He had 
made me his partner a few years before he died — delirium 
tremens and business habits not being compatible — a fact of 
which he was sufficiently conscious to know that he couldn't get 
on without me. At the time he died sheep happened to be 
rather low ; I had saved enough money, with assistance from 
the Australian banks, to buy his share of the station; and so 
began life afresh at thirty years of age, worth twenty thousand 
pounds after all debts were paid — went on from this pretty com- 
fortably, taking the bad with the good, and kept hard at it for 
fifteen years more, when I took it into my head I ought to come 
back to England and see my daughter." 

" Tour daughter! " exclaimed Dr. Ollivant. " Then you had 
married ? " — as if it were the most unnatural thing a man 
could do. 

" Yes," answered the other with a profound sigh, " I married 
the dearest girl in the world. She had come out to Hobart 
Town as a governess ; a solitary young creature, with hardly a 
friend in the world ; and I met her there in one of my summer 
holiday trips, and loved her from the hour I first saw her. I 
suppose the kind of life I led upon the farm — standing up to 
my waist in water to see the sheep-washing, and galloping thirty 
miles before breakfast after strays — was calculated to make a 
man susceptible to that kind of influence. Anyhow, I fell over 
head and ears in love with Mary Grover, and wasn't easy in my 
mind till I'd asked her to be my wife. She hung back at first, 
but I only loved her the better for her shyness ; and when I 
pressed her hard, ahe told me in her own pretty words, which 
were very different from mine, that she didn't want to marry me, 
because she didn't think she was good enough ; her family were 
a bad lot; her grandfather had been a gentleman, but hi 3 



12 Lost for Love. 

descendants had come down somehow ; in short, she gave me to 
understand they were a set of out-and-out scamps, and that she 
had come to the Antipodes to get out of their way. This did 
not move me one jot, and I told her so. I wanted to marry her 
—not her family; and little by little I won her round. She 
owned that she didn't dislike me; that she liked me a little, 
because I was strong and brave, she said — dear soul, as if she 
could know anything about that ! — and finally, that she would 
rather lead a solitary life with me up on the Downs than teach 
children French verbs and major scales in Hobart Town. After 
that I wasn't going to waste any more time ; so we were married 
three weeks later, and I took my sweet young wife back to the 
farm. I had a good wooden house on the station, with a ten- 
foot verandah all round it, which had been built by Jack 
Ferguson, my late partner, and I thought it would do for us. 
But God only knows how it was — whether it was the climate 
or the lonely life that didn't suit her — my darling drooped and 
died only two years after our marriage, and just one year after 
she had given me a little daughter." 

" You should have brought her home," said the doctor. 

" The very thing I wished to do ; but she wouldn't have it. 
She was unhappy even if I spoke of such a thing; she had 
some insuperable objection to returning to England, and I 
couldn't bear to vex her, and I didn't know the end was so 
near. She slipped away from me unawares — like a flower that 
you've transplanted overnight and find dead in the morning." 

He got up and began to walk up and down the room, deeply 
moved by this agitating remembrance. Cuthbert watched him 
curiously. Then a wife was a thing that a man might really 
care for — not a hollow conventionality. 

" I am very sorry for you, Mark," he said in a friendly tone, 
still wondering how so big a man could be so distressed by the 
loss of a woman. " But you have your daughter left, she must 
be a comfort to you." This was a mere mechanical attempt at 
consolation, Dr. Ollivant not having the faintest idea in what 
manner a daughter could be a comfort to any man. 

" She's the only joy of my life," answered the other, with 
a rough energy which contrasted strangely with the doctor's 
grave tones — musical despite their gravity; for Dr. Ollivant's 
noble baritone voice was one of his richest gifts. 

" And yet you could bring yourself to part with her ? " said 
the doctor, with vague wonder. The whole business was out of 
his line — part and parcel of that world of the affections whereof 
be knew nothing, except so much as he had heard of it from his 
mother's favourite Wordsworth. 

" Could I see her droop and die like her mother. That might 
have been climate, though strong men thrive yonder. I could 



Lost for Love. 13 

run no such risk with Flora — a pretty name, isn't it? her 
mother's choice ; so I sent her home with a shepherd's wife, 
when she was two years old. The woman took her straight to 
my people at Exeter; but before she was seven, my mother died, 
and my father sent Flora to a boarding-school near London. He 
died soon after, and there was the little thing, friendless, and 
with strangers. She seemed happy, however, at least her letters 
told me so — dear little childish letters ! — and she remained in 
the same care until I came home a year ago and took a house in 
London, and settled down with my little girl — she was seventeen 
last April — for the rest of my life." This with a faint sigh. 

" And you have lived in London a year without trying to find 
me out until to-night?" said the doctor, with an injured air. 

" You lived twenty years without making any attempt to find 
me," replied his friend. " Shall I tell you what brought me to 
you to-night, Cuthbert? It's hardly flattering to the ghost of 
our boyish friendship — if there's even as much as a ghost left 
of that ! — but I daresay you've found out before now that human 
nature is selfish. It was a book you've written that induced me 
to come to you." 

" A book of mine ! I never wrote anything but medical 
pamphlets. 

" Precisely. What's the name of your book ? On Cardiac 
Diseases. That's it, I think. Ever so long before I left 
Queensland I had reason to suspect there was something not 
quite right here," — touching his broad chest, — " the gentlest 
hill winded me. I had palpitation sometimes, at other times a 
dull heavy feeling, as if my heart didn't move at all ; sleepless 
nights, languor, a dozen disagreeable symptoms. Finding I 
couldn't walk as I used to walk, I took it out of myself in hard 
riding ; but this didn't mend matters. I began to think that 
I was nervous or fanciful, and fought hard, against my own 
sensations. " 

"You consulted no medical man?" 

" The faculty doesn't abound among our sheepwalks. Besides, 
I shouldn't have liked to have myself overhauled by a stranger. 
I thought the voyage home would do me good, and it did. But 
the home life and this murky atmosphere have played the deuce 
with me ; and, in a few words, I've a notion that I've come pretty 
near the end of my tether." 

" You've had no doctor in England P " 

" No. I suppose the life I led over the water makes a man 
something of a eavage. I've a rooted antipathy to strangers. 
But as I was reading the Times the other day your name caught 
my eye at the top of a column. Ollivaut is not a common 
name. I remembered that your father was a doctor, and I 
thought I might as well come and see if the Dr. Ollivant of 



14s Lost for Love. 

Wimpole- street was the little fellow I used to save from a 
licking now and then at Hillersley." 

"My dear old friend," said the doctor, stretching out his 
hand to his old schoolfellow with a warmth that was not 
common to him, " God grant that the instinct which brought 
you to me may be an instinct designed to accomplish your cure ! 
The fancied heart-disease is, I daresay, only an effect of the 
natural depression of mind which your bereavement and your 
lonely life in Australia were calculated to engender. Change 
of air, change of scene, new pursuits " 

"Have done nothing for me," answered the other, with 
conviction. 

Dr. Ollivant looked at his friend for the first time with the 
searching gaze of the physician. To the keen professional eye 
that haggard visage, lantern jaws, and faded eyes betokened 
a shattered constitution, if not organic disease. 

" Come to me to-morrow morning," he said, in his soothing 

frofessional tone, " and I will make a careful examination, 
daresay I shall find things a great deal better than you 
suppose." 

" To-night is as good as to-morrow morning," answered Mr. 
Chamney, as coolly as if it were a mere business question that 
he wanted settled. " Why not to-night ? " 

" To-night, if you prefer it. Only I thought you might like 
to devote this evening to a little friendly talk about old times, 
and that you'd come up-stairs to the drawing-room and let me 
present you to my mother." 

" I shall be very glad to know your mother, and to talk about 
old times. But I'd rather have that other question settled 
first." 

" So be it then. Just take off your coat and waistcoat, like a 
good fellow. I'll lock the door, to make sure against inter' 
ruption." 

The doctor took a stethoscope out of a little drawer near at 
hand, and began his examination with that quiet professional 
lir which has a certain soothing influence, the air of a man who 
Knly requires to ascertain what is wrong in the human machine 
/n order to set it right straightway. His face grew graver as he 
sounded and listened, graver and more grave as the examina- 
tion proceeded, till at the end of about ten minutes, which 
seemed longer to the patient, he lifted his head from Mark 
Chamney's broad chest with a faint sigh, and put down the 
stethoscope. 

" You find I was right," said Mr. Chamney, without a break 
in his voice. 

" I fear so." 

*' Come, why put it doubtfully like that ? You kaow so." 



Lost for Love. 13 

" There is disease, I admit," answered the other cautiously ; 
" I should do wrong to deny that. But that kind of disease is 
not always fatal. With care a man may live to a good old age, 
in spite of organic derangement as bad, perhaps worse ,thau 
yours. I have known a man so affected live to eighty, and die 
at last of bronchitis. You must take care of yourself, Cham- 
ney, that's all you have to do." 

And then the doctor proceeded to describe the necessary 
regimen, a regimen chiefly of deprivation. The patient was 
to avoid this, not to do the other, and so on ; no violent ex- 
ercise, no excitement, no late hours. 

" It's a poor dead-and-alive kind of existence," said Mr. 
Chamney, when the doctor had finished; " and I thought when 
I came home I should be able to enjoy myself a little ; follow 
the hounds, charter a yacht, and take my little girl about the 
world — see life, in short. But this puts an end to all those 
notions. If it were not for Flora's sake I think I'd sooner 
chance it, and get as much as I can out of life while it lasts. But 
I haven't a friend in the world that I can count upon for my 
darling when I'm gone." 

" You may count upon me," said Dr. Ollivant, " and upon 
my mother into the bargain." 

" Do you know I had some idea of that when I came to you 
to-night, Cuthbert ? If he's my Ollivant, and as good a fellow 
as he promised to be, he might be a friend for my little girl when 
I'm gone, I said to myself. And your mother is still living, is 
she ? That's comfortable." 

" Yes, and likely to live for many years, thank God," an- 
swered the doctor. "You must bring your daughter here to- 
morrow, Mark. I'm a busy man, as you may suppose ; but my 
mother has ample leisure for friendship." 

" I'll bring her. By the bye, there was one thing you did not 
tell me just now ; but it hardly needed telling. With disease 
of that kind a man would be liable to die at any moment, 
wouldn't he ? " 

" Why— yes— in such cases there is always the possibility of 
sudden death." 



IS Lost for Love. 



CHAPTER 11. 

•Eyes of some men travel far 
For the finding of a star ; 

Up and down the heavens they go, 
Men that keep a mighty rout ! 
I'm as great as they, I trow, 
Since the dav I found thee out, 
Little Flower!" 

Me. Chamney brought his daughter to see Mrs. Ollivant next 
day, at an hour when the doctor was absent on his daily rounds ; 
but the lady had been fully prepared for the visit, and received 
her son's friend, and her son's friend's only child, as it were 
with open arms. She was full of talk about her visitors when 
Cuthbert came in to dinner at seven o'clock. 

" They stayed to luncheon, and were with me more than two 
hours. I never saw a sweeter girl than Miss Chamney, or 
Flora, as both she and her father insisted I should call her." 

"Pretty?" asked the doctor rather listlessly, with a man's 
usual question. 

" I hardly know whether you would call her absolutely pretty. 
Her features would not bear being measured by line and rule ; 
but there is a sweetness, a freshness, a youthful innocence about 
her that are more winning than beauty. To my mind she is 
the very incarnation of Wordsworth's Lucy." 

Dr. Ollivant shrugged his shoulders. 

" I never had an exalted opinion of Wordsworth's Lucy," he 
said ; " a girl who was very well beside the banks of Dove, but 
would not have been noticeable elsewhere. I like beauty to be 
brilliant, flashing, something that inspires admiration and awe, 
like a tropical thunderstorm." 

" Then you will not admire Miss Chamney. But she is a 
fascinating little thing, for all that." 

" Little ! " exclaimed the doctor contemptuously, " a mere 
stump of a woman, I suppose, like a lead-pencil cut down." 

" No, she is rather tall than otherwise, but very slim. The 
most girlish figure " 

" All angles," muttered the doctor. 

"And with a languid kind of grace, like a flower with & 
slender stem — a narcissus, for instance." 

" Wants tone, I daresay," said the doctor. " Well, mother, 
I can't say that your description inspires me with any ardent 
desire to make the young lady's acquaintance. However, if you 
are satisfied that is the grand point; for you will be a niuoii 



Lost for Love. 17 

more valuable friend to her than ever I can be. And she will 
have need of friends when poor Chamney is gone.'' 

" He looks very ill, Cuthbert. Do you think him in actual 
danger?" 

" I give him a twelvemonth," answered the doctor. 

"Poor fellow! And the poor girl; it is so much worse for 
her. She seems so fond of him. I never saw such affection be- 
tween father and daughter." 

" Indeed ! " said the doctor, eating his dinner with his usual 
calmness. He was not by any means heartbroken because the 
friend of his boyhood had come back to him with the seal of 
death upon his herculean frame. He was sorry with a tempe- 
rate sorrow, thought the situation of father and daughter touch- 
ing, but was accustomed to the tranquil contemplation of 
touching scenes. And he was prepared to befriend the orphan 
to the best of his power when her day of bereavement should 
come, to defend her as her father had defended him when he 
was a little lonely lad at Hillersley Grammar-school. 

He waited for his first leisure day to go and call upon his 
friend, half in friendship, half professionally; but he meant to 
take neither fee nor reward from his old schoolfellow. Mr. 
Chamney had hired for himself a large house in Fitzroy-square, 
hardly conscious that it was not at the fashionable end of 
London. It was a broad airy place, and one square seemed 
to Mark very much like another. It could matter very little 
to the resident, when his curtains were drawn and his lamps 
lighted, whether the square were called Fitzroy or Belgrave. 

The house had been built on a grander scale than most of the 
surrounding mansions ; the hall was spacious, paved with black 
and white marble, the staircase wide, the rooms large and lofty. 
Black marble pillars sustained the dining-room ceiling, the 
mantelpieces were elaborately carved. It was a house which, 
with appropriate furniture, might have been made very hand- 
some ; but Mr. Chamney had furnished it sparsely with the 
mere necessaries of existence, as if it had been a lodge in the 
wilderness. And he had bought his goods and chattels second- 
hand, selecting them haphazard at various brokers' shops, as 
he roamed the lighted streets after nightfall ; now a huge side- 
board, now a table, now a dozen or so of chairs, or a set of 
dark, gloomy-looking window-hangings. 

To his daughter, who came direct from the bare benches and 
deal tables of a boarding-school, the house and its appointments 
appeared splendid; and then the glory of having a house of her 
own ! She told her father that there was something wanting in 
the drawing-room — it had an empty look compared with Miss 
Mayduke's d rawing-room at Notting-hill. But that sacred 
chamber was beautified and adorned with the water-coloured 

B 



18 Lost for Love. 

landscapes, Berlin-wool chair-covers, wax-fruit and decalcomani« 
of Miss Mayduko's young ladies, and had only achieved its 
present perfection in the progress of years. No drawing-room 
could burst Minerva-like into existence from the brain of an 
upholsterer. 

" I must work you some chair-covers, papa," said Flora, and 
immediately bought several pounds of Berlin wool and a dozen 
yards of canvas. The chair-covers progressed at the rate of a 
hundred stitches or so per day, and in the meantime the Fitz- 
roy-square drawing-room presented a desert waste of second- 
hand Turkey carpet, broken by distant islets in the shape of 
chairs and tables, all alike old-fashioned and irrelevant ; a 
ponderous mahogany loo-table, four ancient ebony chairs with 
carved backs, six rosewood ditto inlaid with brass, a modern 
sofa or two, an office-table in the back drawing-room, in which 
apartment Mr. Chamney wrote his letters and read his news- 
paper. One spot of brightness redeemed the barren waste ; in 
the centre window of the front drawing-room Miss Ohamney 
had established an aviary, — half a dozen canaries in a big cage, 
and an Australian parrot in a circular temple of polished brass, 
dependent from the ceiling. The canaries did not sing much. 
It seemed as if the atmosphere of Fitzroy- square were not 
conducive to melody, for the birds had been warranted vocal 
when Miss Chamney bought them. But they fluttered and 
chirped in a cheerful manner, and sometimes even essayed a feeble 
warbling. The Australian stranger made a noise like the 
creaking of a door, which it repeated at intervals throughout 
the day, to its own evident satisfaction, as if it found therein 
an adequate expression of its feelings. The noise was hideous, 
but the bird was handsome, and that, Miss Ohamney said, made 
amends ; one could not expect everything from a bird. 

She was standing by the big cage administering to the 
canaries when Cuthbert Ollivant first saw her. Her father 
was out when he called, so he had asked to see the young lady 
herself, unwilling to waste his drive to the regions of Fitzroy — ■ 
quite out of his beat, which lay Mayfair way, among narrow 
streets of small houses, where the fanciful old maiden ladies 
and the obese old bachelors over-ate and over-drank themselves. 
He had come up-stairs repeating the poet's lines about the 
maiden by the banks of Dove, smiling to himself at his mother's 
oentimentality, being himself in no way given to sentiment. 
The maid-servant opened the drawing-room door for him, and 
he went in unannounced, and saw her, Flora Chamney, for the 
first time, bending down to minister to a languishing canary. 

" My mother was right after all," he said to himself, making 
up his mind, after his manner, at the first glance. " She is the 
sweetest girl I ever saw in my life." 



Lost for Love. 19 

"Sweet" was an adjective which people applied involuntarily 
to Flora Chamney. A small oval face, with large gray eyes, 
dark lashes, dark brows finely pencilled, darkest brown hair 
which rippled naturally upon the ivory forehead, a long slender 
throat, a figure slim almost to a fault, perfect hands and feet — 
in short, a delicately-finished picture rather than a striking one. 
A gray merino gown, a narrow linen collar, a blue ribbon tied 
loosely round the throat, were all the aid the picture took from 
dress ; but there was a grace and sweetness about the whole 
which reminded Cuthbert Ollivant of a Greuse he had once seen 
sold at Christie and Manson's for eleven hundred pounds 
sterling — a kit-cat figure of a girl caressing a dove. 

He found no difficulty in introducing himself. Flora gave 
him her hand with a frank smile. 

" You can be only one person in the world," she said ; " for 
we have no other friends. You must be Dr. Ollivant." 

" Yes I am Dr. Ollivant. I am very glad you have learned 
to think of me as a friend." 

"You wouldn't wonder at that if you heard papa talk of you. 
He is never tired of telling me what a good little fellow you 
were at Hillersley Grammar-school; and such a prodigy of 
leaning ! If he had not said so much of your affection for him, 
I should have been rather inclined to feel afraid of you." 

" Afraid of me ! But why ? " he asked, looking at her with 
a half-wondering admiration, and thinking that if he had 
married early in life, he too might have had a daughter like 
this. But then all daughters were not like this. 

" Because you are so clever. At Miss Mayduke's " — taking 
it for granted that he must know all about Miss Mayduke — " I 
was always afraid of Miss Kilso, who spent her whole existence 
at the top of the class, and knew the precise date of every event 
that has ever happened since the Flood, and could do the dif- 
ferential what's-its-name, and hyperboluses and things, and 
took the first prize every half ! " 

" Then you don't like clever people ? " said the doctor, smiling 
gently at the hyperboluses. 

" I like them very much, when they are nice." 

" Musical, for instance, or artistic H " he suggested, with a 
consciousness that he was neither of those things. 

" Musical people are darlings ! and I like artists. There are 
plenty in this neighbourhood, but we don't know them. There 
is a young man who lives three doors off, who ought to be as 
clever as Raffaelle ; at least, he has hair of the same colour as 
Baffaelle's, and a Grecian nose." 

" Science, I conclude, is less interesting to you?" 

Miss Chamney made a wn. r face, as at the idea of somethinjr 
nasty. 



20 Lost for Love. 

"That means steam-engines and cotton-looms and things, 
doesn't it P " she asked, in her winning childish, way, which 
made even her foolish speeches pleasant to hear. 

" It means a good deal more than steam-engines sometimes. 
But one can hardly expect a young lady to be interested in it, 
any more than one can expect the flowers to know their own 
Latin names, or be learned in botany. You are fond of birds, 
I see." 

"I try to make companions of them," she answered, "when 
papa is out. But I find it rather uphill work. They put their 
heads on one side and chirp when I talk to them, but we don't 
get beyond that. I really think the parrot has the most 
intellect, though his note is not musical." 

The Australian, which had creaked intermittently through- 
out the conversation, creaked his loudest at this, as if in 
approval. 

" I have given them the names of my favourite heroes," said 
Flora, looking at her canaries, " but I am afraid they are not very 
sure of their identity. That little fat one with the topknot is 
the Yicar of Wakefield ; the one with a black wing is Hamlet ; 
that little perky bird is David Copperfield ; that bright yellow 
one is the Prince who found the Sleeping Beauty in the wood. 
I don't think he had any name in the story, had he ? " she 
asked, appealing to the doctor, as if his recollections of nursery 
lore were of the freshest, " so I have called him Prince Lovely. 
The others are all fairy-tale princes." 

" And have you no one besides your birds when your father is 
away ? " 

" No one. Papa's old friends — people he knew when he was 
a boy, that is to say — are all Devonshire people, and he says he 
doesn't care about hunting them up, not having been particu- 
larly fond of them in his boyhood. There are my old school- 
fellows ; and papa told me if I wanted any companions I could 
have them. But when I went to see Miss Mayduke six months 
ago, all my favourites had left, and I hadn't the courage to go 
to their own homes in search of them. I should have had to 
see their papas and mammas, and — I daresay its very foolish, 
but I have such a horror of strangers." 

" Yet you hardly seemed to be horrified by me when I came 
in just now unannounced." 

" 0, that's quite different ; papa has talked so much about 
you, and your mother was so kind to me the other day, you 
seem like an old friend." 

" I hope I may never seem any less." 

" And it is such a comfort to me to think that you are a 
doctor, and can take care of papa's health. He has not 
been very well lately. But you will keep him well, won't you ? ' 



Jjost for Love. 21 

"I will do all tliat science can do to keep him well," answered 
the doctor gravely. 

" Can science do that? Then I shall love science with all my 
heart. How stupid of me to forget just now that medicine is a 
ecience ! And I have always thought medicine one of the 
grandest things in the world." 

"EeallyP" 

" What can be grander than the art of saving people's lives ? 
— I reverence a great physician." 

The doctor was curiously touched by this avowal — sweet 
flattery from those childish lips. 

" It would have been worth my while to undergo all the 
pains and penalties of marriage if I could have had such a 
daughter," he thought. 

The short winter's day — one of the first days in December- 
was closing. The fire had burned low, neglected by Flora in 
her devotion to the canaries ; the lamplight from below flashed 
here and there upon the bare walls ; the room looked big and 
dark and empty — a gloomy home for so fair a creature. 

" I should have made her surroundings ever so much brighter 
if she had been my daughter," thought the doctor. 

" You must find life rather dreary in this big house, when 
your father is away ? " he said. 

" No," she answered, with a smile that brightened all her 
face in the twilight; " I have never known what it is to be dull. 
First and foremost, I am so happy in the thought that papa 
has come back to me for ever." 

"Unstable happiness," thought the doctor. "Brief for ever." 

" And then, even when papa is out — though I am always 
sorry to lose him even for so short a time — I am able to amuse 
myself. I have a piano in my room up-stairs, and my paint- 
box." 

" You paint, then P " asked the doctor, himself the most 
unaccomplished of men, and wondering how many accomplish- 
ments might go to the sum total of an educated young 
woman. 

"I spoil a good deal of paper; but it's so nice being near 
Kathbone*place ; one can always get more, and moist colours 
in little tubes that squirt out. It's enchantment to work with 
them." 

" I should like to see some of your paintings." 

" I shall be very pleased to show you the first I finish," 
answered Flora doubtfully ; " but they don't very often coma 
to that. They look beautiful at first, and I feel I really am 
getting on ; and then somehow they go wrong, and after 
they've once taken the turn, the harder I work at them the 
worse they go." 



22 Lost for Love. 

" Landscapes or figures P " 

" 0, either. I've been doing the human figure lately — a 
nymph at a fountain— in chalks; but chalks are so dirty, 
and the human figure is rather uninteresting without clothes. 
Hark ! that's papa's knock." 

It was; and Mark Chamney came striding up the stairs 
presently, and burst into the drawing-room, out of breath, but 
looking big enough and strong enough to defy the destroyer 
Death. But it was only the large outline left of the once 
herculean form ; the clothes hung loose upon the shrunken 
figure. 

" That's right," he said, pleased at finding those two 
together. " Then you two have contrived to make friends 
without me? " 

"We were friends already," answered Flora; "for I knew 
how you liked Dr. Ollivant." 

" You'll stop to dinner, of course ? " said Mark ; " and Flora 
shall sing to us while we drink our wine." 

The doctor hesitated. He was a reading man, and his quiet 
evenings were very precious to him. His mother would wait 
dinner for him. Ho, that might be avoided, for his brougham 
was below, and he could send the man home with a message. 
But she would be not the less disappointed ; he so rarely dined 
away from her. Duty and reason cried "Dine in Wimpole- street," 
but the voice of inclination drowned them, and he stayed where 
he was. 

"I never take wine after dinner," he said; " but I'll stay to 
hear Miss Chamney sing." 



CHAPTER III. 

" It seems to me that the coming of love is like the coming of spring— the 
date is not to be reckoned by the calendar. It may be slow and gradual ; it may 
'/e quick and sudden. But in the morning, when we wake and recognize a change 
in the world without, verdure on the trees, blossoms on the sward, warmth in 
the sunshine, music in the air, then we say Spring has come ! " 

The young man whom Miss Chamney had observed from her 
window occasionally — her neighbour at the distance of three 
doors — was an art-student- — not a student of the plodding, 
drudging order ; for the young man had the misfortune to be 
rich, and it mattered very little to him, from a prudential point 
of view, whether he were industrious or idle, ^"t as he had a 



Lost for Love. 23 

passion for art in the abstract, and an ambitions desire to win 
a name in the list of modern painters, he worked, or seemed to 
work, furiously. He was, however, somewhat np.ismodic in the 
manner of his toil, and, like Flora, was apt to find the finish of 
a picture harder work than the beginning. Like Miss Chamney, 
he discovered human anatomy taken by itself, without the ad- 
ventitious charm of raiment, to be a dryasdust business ; that 
the human skeleton with its various bones is not altogether 
satisfying to the imagination ; that the prolonged study of 
limbs unconnected with bodies, however various in the develop- 
ment of their muscles, is apt to pall upon the ardent spirit. 

" I suppose Rubens did this kind of thing," said this Mr. 
Leyburne, after a hard day's work in a private life school, not 
very far from Fitzroy-square. " He could never have done that 
foreshortening of the dead Christ in the Antwerp Musuem if 
he hadn't gone in his hardest for anatomy. But, O, how I wish 
I were through it all, and at work upon my first historical 
picture ! It does seem such bosh, sometimes, these everlasting 
fists and elbows and knee-joints. It isn't as if I meant to make 
my reputation in half-naked Greeks and Romans, Jason and 
the Golden Fleece, Theseus and Ariadne, Horatius what's-his- 
name, and that kind of stuff. If ever I grope my way farther 
back into the mist of ages than the Spanish Armada, may I be 
convicted of half a column of anachronisms by the Times critic. 
No, Mary Stuart and Bothwell, the murder of the Regent 
Moray, from a window in Linlithgow, — that's the kind of thing 
for my money." 

Thus spoke Walter Leyburne, half in soliloquy, half in con- 
fidence, to his fellow-students, as he shut his day's work in his 
portfolio, and prepared to take his homeward way. A bright- 
looking young fellow, nay, handsome, and with an expression 
that was radiant as a summer morning; blue eyes; straight 
Greek nose; light auburn moustache, with drooping ends, 
sedulously trained, only half concealing a somewhat feminine 
mouth ; auburn hair, worn long in the Raffaelle fashion, artistic 
suit of black velvet, boots which would not have disgraced a 
club in Pall Mall, long supple white hands without gloves, a 
sprig of stephanotis in his buttonhole, a black-velvet Glengarry 
in place of the regulation chimney-pot, — a curious admixture of 
Bohemianism and foppery in his costume. 

This was the gentleman whom Flora had occasion to remark 
once or twice a day from her window. She might have seen 
him half a dozen times a day had she kept watch for him, his 
erratic habits causing him to tramp backwards and forwards 
between his lodgings and the outer world a good deal more often 
than was necessary to his artistic pursuits. He had chums and 
companions in arts scattered about the neighbourhood, and 



24s Lost for Love. 

when seized by an original idea, would fling on his Scotch 
bonnet and rush forth to impart his inspiration to the ear of 
sympathy. He had appointments for friendly oyster-luncheons, 
or bitter-beer and sandwiches at a tavern in Rathbone-place, or 
he wanted something in the artist's-colour way in that district. 
Thus he was always flitting to and fro, on some pretence or 
other. He went every night to a theatre or some other place of 
amusement, to hear the " Chough and Crow " and eat welsh- 
rarebits at Evans's, to play billards at a public table ; and he 
came home after midnight in a hansom cab, whose doors he 
flung asunder with a shameless bang. Flora's bower was in 
the front of the house, so she was wont to hear these post- 
midnight returns, and this young man's cheery voice chaffing 
the cabmen. He appeared to pay these functionaries with a 
lavish generosity, for there were never any complainings or re- 
monstrances, only an interchange of witticisms and friendly 
good-nights. 

It must be a wild, wicked kind of life, thought Flora ; and 
yet the art-student seemed rather an amiable young man. 
Was there no one — no near relation — father, mother, uncle, 
aunt, or sister to check this headlong career, no restraining 
influence to snatch such a good-looking young man from per- 
dition ? Flora was really sorry for him. 

She was overwhelmed with astonishment when her father 
came home from the City — he paid occasional visits to that 
mysterious region — and rubbed his great hands cheerily, ex- 
claiming : 

"Flora, I have made an acquaintance. Our circle is widen- 
ing. If we go on in this way I must get you a brougham to 
take you out when you pay visits. Only, unfortunately, this is 
a young man with nobody belonging to him, so far as I can 
make out." 

" A young man, papa ! " said Flora. " Who can that be ? 
A younger brother of Dr. Ollivant's?" 

" Ollivant never had such a thing as a brother. You must 
try a little nearer home, Flo. What should you say to that 
young man in the black-velvet jacket — the young man you've 
teased me about so often — making me get out of my easy-chair 
with ' Be quick, pa, he's just turning the corner ; do look '? " 

" Why, papa, you don't mean that you could go up to him in 
the street and ask him to be friends with you ? " cried Flora, 
blushing to the roots of her hair at the mere thought of such 
an outrage of the proprieties, as taught without extra charge 
by Miss Mayduke, of Notting-hill. 

" Not exactly. But what do you think of that young man 
being intimately connected — indirectly — with my past life ? " 

Flora shook her head resolutely. 



Lost for Love. 25 

" It couldn't be, papa. It would be too ridiculous." 

" I don't see that. Why ridiculous ? Because he wears a 
black-velvet coat, or because you've noticed him from your 
window ? " 

" But what do you mean, and what can he have to do with 
your past life ? It isn't as if you were a painter." 

" His uncle wasn't a painter, Flo ; but he was my employer, 
and afterwards my partner in Queensland. He married early 
in life, but had neither chick nor child, as you've heard me 
say. 

Flora nodded. She had heard her father relate his Australian 
adventures very often indeed, but was never tired of hearing 
them. 

" And when he died all his money went to his only sister's 
only son. He left it to the sister, and her heirs, executors, and 
assigns, not knowing that she was dead and gone when he 
made his will. He had never taken the trouble to send her a 
ten-pound note, or to inquire if she wanted one, and died leav- 
ing her sixty thousand pounds." 

" But what has all that to do with the young painter who 
lives three doors off?" asked Flora, puzzled. 

" Only that he is the nephew who inherited the sixty thousand 
pounds." 

" Good gracious ! " exclaimed Flora with a disappointed air ; 
" and I thought he was a struggling artist who would have to 
commit suicide by-and-by if he couldn't sell his pictures. That 
accounts for his conduct to the cabmen." 

" What conduct ? What cabmen ? " 

Flora explained. 

" And do you mean to say you have made his acquaintance, 
papa ? " she asked afterwards. 

" By the merest accident. When I came home I put a little 
money — only a few odd thousands — into shipping, as you know 
— never had a secret from you, my darling. I went down to John 
Maravilla's office — he's the agent, you know — this morning to 
make an inquiry or two, and who should I see but our friend in 
the velvet jacket — he had dressed himself more like a Christian 
to come into the City, but I knew him by his long hair — loung- 
ing across Maravilla's desk asking questions about ships and 
shipping. Maravilla, who was rattling on in his usual way, 
chuckling as if he had made half a million of money since 
breakfast, introduced us. ' You ought to know Mr. Leyburne,' 
he said; 'he has a sixteenth in the Sir Galahad.' 'I ought 
to know the name of Leyburne,' said I, ' ships or no ships. 
Had you ever anybody belonging to you called Ferguson?' 
' I'm happy to say I had,' answered the young man with the 
long hair ; ' for if I hadn't, I should never have had a share in 



26 Lost for Love. 

Sir Galahad. My uncle, John Ferguson, left me all his money.' 
' He was my first and only employer, and best friend,' said I ; 
and we were on the most intimate terms in less than five 
minutes ; and he's going to dine with us this evening." 

" Papa! " cried Flora, with a little joyous burst. 

"What, you're pleased, are you, missy?" said the father, 
thoughtfully. 

" I doat upon painters, papa, and he looks cleverer than the 
others who live about here." 

" He has the interest of sixty thousand pounds to pay for his 
fine clothes, my dear, unless he has contrived to fritter away 
any of the principal. Tes, he's coming at seven o'clock this 
evening. I thought we ought to be civil to him for the sake of 
his poor old uncle, who was a good friend to me in spite of the 
brandy-bottle." 

" Of course, papa, it's the least we can do to be kind to him, 
and perhaps he'll help me a little with my painting. I'm copy- 
ing a study called ' Gulnare,' with long plaits and the dearest 
little Greek cap, but the flesh tints will come so very purple in 
the shadows, as if poor Gulnare had been taking nitrate of 
silver. Perhaps Mr. Leyburne — rather a pretty name, isn't 
it? — could tell me how to improve my flesh tints." 

" Perhaps," said her father absently. " Strange, isn't it, 
missy, that I should come across this young fellow ? When I 
hunted up Cuthbert Ollivant, I thought he was the only friend 
I had or was ever likely to have in the world, and now this 
young man seems as if he were a kind of nephew of mine." 

"Of course he must be, since he is Mr. Ferguson's nephew, 
and Mr. Ferguson made your fortune. But, 0, papa," cried 
Flora, shaking her head solemnly, " I'm afraid he's rather a 
wicked young man." 

" How do you mean wicked, Baby ? " 

This was a favourite pet name for Flora. As he had called 
her Baby and thought of her as Baby in the far-away Australian 
days, so it best pleased Mark Chamney to cail her Baby 
now. 

"Wild, papa— dreadfully dissipated. He comes home late 
every night, in hansom cabs, and it's ever so much wickeder to 
ride in a hansom than a four-wheeler, papa, isn't it ? Mrs. Gage 
told me so. ' Hansom cabs and wildness go together, Miss 
Flora,' she said." 

Mrs. Gage was a mysterious female — elderly, lachrymose, and 
had seen better days — whom Mr. Chamney had picked up for 
his housekeeper. 

" Never mind Mrs. Gage. I hope there's no harm in that 
young fellow, in spite of his late hours. I should be sorry 
to think it, for there's something frank and pleasant in his 



Lost for Love. 27 

manner, and I shouldn't have asked him here if I thought he 
was dissipated." 

" Perhaps twelve o'clock or a quarter past isn't so very late, 
papa ? '' said Flora thoughtfully. 

" You're very exact, Baby." 

" I can't help hearing him, papa — just under my window, as 
it were." 

Flora was in quite a flutter of excitement all the afternoon. 
They had positively no friends except Dr. and Mrs. Ollivant. 
It was quite a wonder for them to expect any one to dinner. 
She made her father take her to Oovent Garden to buy fruit for 
dessert, and chose bananas and pomegranates and prickly pears, 
and divers other recondite productions of nature, all of which 
belied their good looks and were flavourless to the palate. But 
it was her childish fancy to adorn the table with something 
uncommon — picturesque, even — which might charm the painter's 
eye by its novel form and colour. Mrs. Gage had been bidden 
to prepare a good dinner, but as that worthy woman's mind 
never soared above oxtail soup and cod's head and shoulders, 
roast beef and boiled fowls, there was no such thing as origi- 
nality to be hoped for from her. 

" I don't suppose he cares very much what he eats," thought 
Flora, who had fixed ideas upon the subject of this young man. 
" He looks superior to that. But, 0, I hope he won't drink a 
great deal and get horribly tipsy, so_ that papa will never ask 
him again." 

This idea was dreadful. But what can one expect from a 
young man who comes home late in a hansom ? 

There was an interval between the return from Covent Garden, 
laden with those curious products of the tropics, and seven 
o'clock. Flora devoted this time to arranging and rearranging 
her drawings, undecided which she should venture to show 
Mr. Leyburne. She must show him one of them, or how could 
she hope for any enlightening counsel upon the subject of flesh 
tints ? But seen in the light of her new timidity, they all 
appeared too bad to exhibit. Juliet's mouth was out of draw- 
ing ; Gulnare's left eye had a decidedly intoxicated look ; an old 
man with a white beard — a study of " Benevolence " — was more 
purple by candlelight than she could have supposed possible. 
A group of camellias had been obviously copied from originals — 
cut out of turnips ; a vase of fuchsia was painfully suggestive 
of pickled cabbage. Flora shut her portfolio in despair. 

" I'd better show him all of them, and then he'll know what 
a miserable dauber I am," she said to herself. " How I wish he 
were poor, so that it would be a charity to take lessons of him ! " 
And then she ran into the next room to dress ; shook down the 
wealth of her dark rippling hair, and rolled it up again in the 



28 Lost for Zove. 

most bewitching manner imaginable — one broad massive plait 
twisted round the small head like a diadem ; and put on a blue- 
silk dress — the dress her father had praised so often — rich lace 
encircling the graceful throat, loose sleeves half revealing the 
soft round arms. She had unlimited money to spend upon 
finery, and indulged her girlish fancy with all manner of pretti- 
nesses, lockets, ribbons, and laces — all the things she had longed 
for in her schooldays. 

The dingy maroon curtains were drawn and big fires burning 
in the two drawing-rooms, whereby those apartments had almost 
a cheerful look despite their bareness. Mark Chamney was 
seated in his favourite arm-chair, hard as a brick-bat but capa- 
cious, with his legs extended across the hearth-rug in his accus- 
tomed attitude, reading the evening paper. 

" Can't think what the deuce men find to amuse them in the 
papers," he said. 

" That's what you always say, papa; yet you never read any- 
thing else." 

" 1 can't say I care about books, Baby. I like to know that 
what I'm reading is the last thing I could read. What's the 
good of history, for instance ? this week falsifies last week. I 
don't care about knowing what has been — I only want to know 
what is. How smart you've made yourself, missy I Tou don't 
often favour me with the sight of that blue gown." 

" I thought as we had company, papa " 

" Company ! the young man from next door but three ! That's 
his knock, I daresay." 

Flora's heart gave a little flutter. She was thinking of those 
creadful daubs up-stairs, and wondering whether she would ever 
muster courage to exhibit them — wondering a little too what 
this young painter, of whom she had only caught flying glimpses 
at a distance, would be like when she saw him face to face. 

He came into the room while she was wondering, was intro- 
duced to her, and shook hands with her in a rapid easy manner 
that was not ungentlemanlike. 

He was certainly good-looking, of that there could be no 
doubt ; handsome even ; faultlessly arrayed in evening-dress. 
The only eccentricity in his appearance was the long fair hair. 
Flora had expected to see him in his black-velvet coat, with 
perhaps a smear of paint here and there to show that he had 
only just laid aside his palette, and, behold, he was dressed like 
tny other young man, spotless, irreproachable. Flora was 
almost disappointed. 

He was the easiest young man in the world to get on with, 
his communicative disposition serving as a key wherewith to 
open the doors of friendship's temple. He told them all about 
himself ; his longings, his aspirations, his intention of going to 



ijosi jor Jjove. 29 

Rome by-and-by for a year or two, to work hard ; as if there 
were something in the air of that eternal city which must needs 
make him industrious. 

He asked a great many questions about his departed uncle, 
whom he had never seen, and the strange life among the lonely 
sheep-walks, and thus drew Mark Ohamney on to talk confiden- 
tially, and to tell his longest stories. Altogether it was a most 
cheerful dinner-party, much more cheerful than when Dr. Olli- 
vant had dined with them; Dr. Ollivant, although far better 
informed, not being so good a talker as Walter Leyburne. 

After the dessert, which was a success, in spite of the spiki- 
ness and stringiness of the tropical fruits, they went up-stairs 
together. It had been an extreme relief to Flora to perceive 
that the painter drank nothing but a tumbler of claret through- 
out his repast. He was not therefore prone to intemperance, 
which she imagined a common vice among men of genius who 
came home after midnight. It was so nice, too, to find him 
eager to drink the tea she poured out for him presently, just 
as if he had been the most correctly-minded of the curate 
species. 

He caught sight of the open piano while he was sipping his 
tea, and brightened visibly. 

" You play and sing," he said. " I thought as much." 

" Only easy music," she answered shyly ; " little bits of 
Mendelssohn, where the accidentals are not too dreadful, and 
old songs that papa likes. I have a book full — dear old things, 
that belonged to poor mamma. I am afraid you would laugh at 
the very look of them — such faded notes and common-looking 
paper ; but they seem to me prettier than any I can buy at the 
music-sellers'." 

" I am sure they are pretty," replied Walter with enthusiasm; 
" or you would not sing them." 

" His manner to gilds in general, no doubt," thought Flora. 

She went to the piano at her father's bidding, and sang one 
after another of the old ballads her mother had loved, the 
tender plaintive music of years gone by — " We met," and " She 
wore a wreath of roses," " Young Love lived once in a humble 
shed," and " The light guitar ; " while Walter Leyburne hung 
over the piano enchanted, and looked and listened — there were 
no leaves to turn, for Flora played from memory — and fancied 
that his hour was come; that Destiny, which had done pretty 
well for him by flinging sixty thousand pounds into his lap, 
desired to bestow upon him this still higher boon, for the perfec- 
tion and completion of his lot. 

Mark Chamney lay back in his arm-chair, smoking — tobacco 
had been the chief solace of his lonely life on the other side of 
the world, and it was not to be supposed that his little girl 



30 Zost for Love. 

would deny him the comfort of his pipe wheresoever he chose to 
enjoy it — and watching the two figures at the piano. 

The young man seemed all that youth should be — candid, 
generous, ardent. It was a curious hazard that had made them 
neighbours. It seemed something more than hazard which had 
created these two young creatures so near of an age, and with 
bo many fancies and attributes in common. 

" It would seem almost the natural course of events, if " 

thought Mr. Ohamney, and did not take the trouble to finish 
the sentence in his own mind, the conclusion being so obvious. 

After having dutifully sung her father's favourite ballads, 
Flora, ventured to speak, with extreme shyness and faltering, 
about painting. 

" I'm afraid it is very difficult to paint," she said, in a specu- 
lative way, still perched upon the music-stool, looking down at 
the keyboard and fingering the black notes dumbly, as if seeking 
inspiration from sharp and flats. " I don't mean like Raffaelle, 
or Titian, or any of tbose " 

" Heavy swells," interjected Walter, seeing her at a loss. 

She laughed a little at this, and grew a shade bolder. 

" But just tolerably, to amuse oneself." 

"Why, then, you paint ! " cried the young man, enraptured. 

" I didn't say that." 

" 0, yes, you did. Pray do show me what you have done." 

" They're so horrid," pleaded Flora. 

" No, they are beautiful, equal to Rosa Bonheur's." 

" 0, no, no. And they are not animals." 

" I insist on your showing them to me this moment." 

Her father rang the bell, and ordered Miss Chamney's port- 
folio. There was no time for reflection. Before she could collect 
her senses, the book was open on the table, and Walter Leyburne 
was looking over the drawings, with little muttered exclama- 
tions, and frownings, and smilings. 

" Upon my word there's a good deal of talent in them," he 
said cheerily, and then began to show what was wrong, where 
the drawing was out, or the brush had been used too heavily. 

" You shouldn't have been in such a hurry to go into colour," 
he said, at which Flora despaired; for what is life worth 
to the artistic mind of seventeen if one cannot dabble with 
colours P 

" Drawing is such dry work," she exclaimed, raising her pretty 
eyebrows. 

" Not if you go into it thoroughly," replied Mr. Leyburne, 
forgetting sundry expressions of disgust and impatience that 
had fallen from his own lips a few days ago in relation to the 
muscles of a gladiator. " I wish your papa would let me come 
in now and then for half an hour, and put you on the right 



"Lost for Love. 31 

tack ; and I could lend you some casts to copy. You ought to 
draw from the round." 

Flora beamed with smiles, but looked at her father doubtfully. 

" I don't see any objection," said Mr. Chamney ; " name your 
time, and I'll be here to see that Baby is an obedient pupil." 

The business was settled on the spot, and a farther arrange- 
ment made, to the effect that Mr. and Miss Chamney were to 
inspect Mr. Levburne's studio next day. 

" It might amuse you to see a hard-working man's painting- 
room," said Walter, with extreme pride in the epithet " hard- 
working." " And if you will do me the honour to lunch with 
me, I'll make things as comfortable as a miserable dog of a 
bachelor can ever hope to make them." 

This with extreme scorn of his condition, as if he were the 
most abandoned of earth's inhabitants. 

Flora clasped her hands joyously. "0, papa, do let us go! " 
she cried ; " I never saw a painter's studio in all my life." 

Whereupon the invitation was accepted, Mr. Chamney desir- 
ing nothing better than to be led by the light hand of his little 
girl. 



CHAPTER IV- 

" I am too old for mere play, too young to be without a wish. What can th» 
world afford me ? " Thou shalt renounce ! " " Thou shalt renounce ! " That is 
the eternal song which is rung in every one's ears ; which, our whole life long, 
every hour is hoarsely singing to us." 

After the luncheon in the painting-room came another dinner 
at Mr. Chamney's, a lesson twice a week, an intimacy which 
ripened daily — until after a fortnight of this rapid progress it 
suddenly occurred to Mr. Chamney that he ought to make his 
new friend, Leyburne, known to his old friend, Ollivant. The 
curious hazard that had brought about this friendship would be 
sure to interest the doctor ; nor could he fail to be interested in 
that romantic notion which lurked unexpressed in the mind of 
Flora's father. 

A little note from Mrs. Ollivant to Flora came just at thia 
time : 

" Dear Miss Chamney, — Why don't you come to see me P 
Perhaps I ought to have told you that I am an old woman — - 
though you might see as much as that for yourself — with a 
rooted affection for my own fireside, so you must not expect 



32 Lost for Love. 

visits from me. We are so near each other that I think I may 
ask yon to spend your evenings with me now and then without 
any farther invitation. If your papa will come with you, so 
much the better. The doctor will always be pleased to see him. 
" By the way, I hear you are a very sweet singer, and I must 
beg you to bring your music. 

" Yery faithfully yours, 

"Letitia Ollivant." 

"Then the doctor must have praised my singing," thought 
Flora, wonderingly ; " and he hardly said a civil word about it 
to my face. Only looked at me with those dark solemn eyes of 
his. So different from Mr. Leyburne." 

Mr. Leyburne had been led on to confess to a tenor voice, and 
there had been evenings devoted to " La ci darem la mano" and 
"Sull'aria." 

" We'll go to Wimpole-street this evening," said Mr. Cham- 
ney, when he had read Mrs. Ollivant's note. 

" Yes, papa ; but suppose Mr. Leyburne should call ? " 

" We can't help that, Baby. I'm always glad to see him 
when he likes to drop in ; but we can't be at home every night." 

" No, papa," rather regretfully ; " but we were getting on so 
nicely with ' La ci.' " 

" There'll be plenty ot time for ' La ci.' You see, Flora, I feel 
as if the doctor ought to be told about our new acquaintance." 

" But what can it matter to him, pajja ? " 

" Why, in the first place, he is my oldest friend ; and in the 
second place, I look upon him almost as your guardian." 

" My guardian, papa ! " with an alarmed look. " What can I 
want with a guardian when I have you ? " 

" While you have me, — no, dear. Only — only people die, you 
know " 

"Papa, papa," flying to his breast, and clinging to him pas- 
sionately, " how can you say such dreadful things ?" 

" A fact in natural history, Baby. A universal epidemic. We 
must all take it, sooner or later. Don't be frightened, pet. I 
don't mean to say that I am going off the hooks yet awhile. 
But I made my will the other day — a necessary act in every 
man's life, you know, darling— and I put Ollivant in as your 
guardian and trustee. There isn't any one you'd like better, 
is there, Flo?" 

"I shouldn't like any one. I don't want a guardian or a 
trustee ; I only want you." 

" And you shall have me, darling, as long as God pleases. 
May it be long, dear, for both our sakes ! " 

Flora echoed the prayer faintly, choked by sobs. 



Lost for Lave. S3 

Mrs. Ollivant received them in her prim drawing-room, where 
not an object was disarranged from one week's end to another ; 
the crimson tabinet-covered chairs — bought a great bargain by 
the country practitioner at a local sale — with their backs always 
glued to the wall ; the tables with the same blotting-books and 
envelope- casest scent-bottles and albums, which Cuthbert re- 
membered in his earliest boyhood, adorning the chief apartment 
at Long Sutton ; the mantelpiece ornaments of the same era ; a 
grim-looking black-and-gilt clock in the sham-Greek fashion of 
the French Consulate; a pair of black-and-gilt candelabra sus- 
tained by sphinxes; some cups and saucers of Oriental ware; 
the looking-glass over the chimney framed in black-and-gilt, 
corresponding with an oval mirror at the other end of the room; 
a pair of attenuated console-tables between the long narrow 
windows, surmounted by meagre strips of looking-glass, and 
adorned with more cups and saucers. The carpet was an ancient 
Brussels, of a vegetable or floral design, which had once pre- 
sented the various colouring seen in mixed pickles, but was now 
faded to the palest of drabs, and yellowest of greens, and dingiest 
of browns. Altogether, the room had a meagre and faded aspect ; 
but Mrs. Ollivant thought it beautiful, and suffered not a speck 
of dust to rest upon the shining surfaces of tables and chair- 
backs. 

She was sitting at her work-table, reading by the light of a 
shaded lamp, when her visitors were announced, alone. An 
hour's talk after dinner was the most her son could afford her, 
and the hour having expired, he had withdrawn to his study. 

" Light the candles, James," she said to the butler, " and tell 
your master Mr. and Miss Chamney are here. I doubt if any 
other name would tempt him away from his books," she said 
graciously. 

The man lighted a pair of wax candles in the Egyptian can- 
delabra, which faintly illumined the region of the mantelpiece, 
and were reflected feebly in the dark depths of the looking-glass. 

The dimly-lighted room seemed dreary to Flora, even after 
the barrenness of the Fitzroy-square drawing-rooms. Life there 
was a kind of bivouac, which was not without its charm. But 
here every object told of days gone by ; of people who had long 
been dead; hopes that had never known fruition ; dreams that 
had been dreamed in vain ; the unspeakable melancholy that 
belongs to commonplace objects that have grown old. 

Mrs. Ollivant, like her surroundings, had the air of belonging 
to an age gone by. She wore her hair and her dress in the same 
fashion that had obtained at Long Sutton seven-and-thirty years 
ago. Her dark hair was half-hidden by the Mechlin-lace lappets 
which had been one of her wedding presents, and fastened with 
a tortoisesheE comb that had been her mother's. So had the 



34 Lost for Love. 

amethyst brooch which united her lace collar. Her iron-gray 
silk gown was made as scantily and as plainly as Miss Skipton, 
the chief dressmaker of Long Sutton, had made her dresses when 
she married. She had changed nothing — the hand of Time had 
even respected the calm thoughtful face, and had scarcely marked 
the progress of the quiet years by a wrinkle. Passion had 
ploughed no lines there, rancour had left no ugly imprint. It 
would have been hard to imagine a face which indicated a more 
fcranquil existence, a serener soul. And yet there was an inde- 
finable melancholy in the countenance, as of a woman who had 
only half lived, whose life had been rather like the winter sleep 
of hibernating animals than the ardent changeful existence of 
warm-blooded mankind. 

She brightened, in her own calm way, at sight of Flora, held 
out her arms, to which the girl came half shyly, and kissed her 
with a more maternal kiss than Miss Mayduke. 

" So good of you, Miss Chamney " 

" Flora, if you please, dear Mrs. Ollivant." 

" Flora, of course. So good of you, Flora, to remember an 
old woman." 

" I have not so many friends that I could forget you ; and if I 
had ever so many, I'm sure I shouldn't. But we've made a new 
one, and papa is going to tell you all about him." 

" A new friend ! " 

" A new friend ! " echoed a voice by the door. They turned 
and saw Dr. Ollivant standing there with a serious attentive 
face. He came slowly into the room, like a man who was half 
worn out by the day's work, and shook hands with his visitors — 
Flora first, with a brief but keen scrutiny of the eager blushing 
face, and then with her father. 

" And where may you have picked up your new friend, Cham- 
ney ? " he asked, dropping into his favourite chair, while Flora, 
at Mrs. Ollivant's entreaty, took off a coquettish little hat and 
a sealskin jacket. 

"Where did I pick him up? You may well say that. It 
was a regular case of picking up. I think I told you the other 
night that I am interested in shipping ; only to the extent of a 
few loose thousands, but still interested." And then he went on 
to tell his story, at which Dr. Ollivant looked unutterably grave, 
as if listening to the confession of a felony, and speculating how 
he could assist his friend to escape penal servitude. 

Flora watched him with the deepest mortification. He did 
aot show one ray of enthusiasm ; he did not attempt to congra- 
tulate them upon the acquisition of this treasure, a young painter 
with a charming tenor voice and the most good-natured readi- 
ness to instruct her in the art of correct drawing. 

" If you ask my candid opinion, Chamney," said the doctor at 



Lost for Love. 35 

last, with that brooding face of his still turned to the fire, and 
not to his friend, " my opinion is that you have done a very 
foolish thing." 

"Eh?" 

" A most inconsiderate thing. You admit a young man to a 
position of intimacy. You open your doors to him, and make 
him, as it were, a member of your own family, simply upon the 
strength of his having had a particular man for his uncle, with- 
out a single inquiry as to his character, or the remotest know- 
ledge of his antecedents. What is this Mr. — Leyburne, I thin] 
you said, the better for being the nephew of a certain John Fer- 
guson, a man who drank himself to death in the wilds of Aus- 
tralia?" 

"I owe John Ferguson every penny I possess," muttered 
Chamney. 

" Perhaps. And I daresay he owed it to you that he didn't 
lose or squander every penny he possessed. At any rate I can- 
not admit that this Leyburne has any lien on your gratitude. 
And if you take my advice, having let a scamp into your house 
in an evil hour, you will take the earliest opportunity of kicking 
him out of it. Of course I mean in a metaphorical sense." 

" I should hope so," said Flora, half crying. She had hardly 
ever felt so disappointed. It seemed so hard to find such a want 
of sympathy and friendliness in their oldest friend. " Mr. Ley- 
burne is not at all the kind of young man to submit to be kicked, 
even by papa. And as for his being a scamp, it is very cruel 
and unjust of you to say such a thing, Dr. Ollivant, about a 
person you don't know. I'm sure if you were to see his studio 
you'd think very differently; everything so neat and orderly 
and, if one may so, gentlemanlike ; and casts in the most difficult 
attitudes, beautifully copied in chalk. He showed us the copies, 
didn't he, papa ? " 

Mr. Chamney nodded. He had taken his lecture meekly 
enough. Had not little Ollivant been accustomed to lecture 
him two-and-twenty years ago, upon the subject of his inapti- 
tude for the study of Virgil, and his sluggishness of intellect 
with regard to hyperbolas and parabolas ? 

Dr. Ollivant looked at Flora with a curiously contemplative 
gaze, half scornful, as of a foolish child, half interested, as in a 
rather amusing young woman. 

"Very well, let it be so," he said. "We will suppose the 
young man to be perfection." 

" He sings beautifully," murmured Flora. 

"We will admit him to be an acquisition. Don't be alarmed, 
mother, Miss Chamney and I are not going to quarrel. You'll 
adng my mother some of those old ballads, by-and-by, won't you 
Miss Chamney ? " 



36 Lost for Love. 

" Call me Flora, please," she said, pacified by his half-apology. 
" No one calls me Miss Chamney." 

" Not even Mr. Leyburne P " 

" 0, yes, he, of course. But he is a young man." 

"That makes a difference, I suppose. Then I shall call you 
Flora ; or, if you are angry with me, as you were just now, per- 
haps I may call you Baby, like papa." 

" No, please, I can't allow that ; nobody but papa must call 
me a foolish name." 

The doctor's factotum now appeared with the tea-tray, and at 
the doctor's bidding lighted more candles on the old fashioned 
cabinet piano. Mrs. Ollivant made tea with the presentation 
urn and teapot that testified to her husband's skill in restoring 
health to the sickly inhabitants of Long Sutton, — made tea in 
the homely old English fashion, and was gratified when told her 
tea was good. 

After tea Flora consented to sing, but not quite with her 
usual willingness. She had not forgotten the doctor's unkind- 
ness about her painter — her painter — the first genius she had 
ever known, the first human creature she had ever heard talk 
familiarly of Titian and Rubens and Beynolds, as if he had 
painted side by side with them. Nor did the doctor's grave 
dark eyes, fixed on her so often with a calm scrutiny, inspire 
such confidence as on his visit to Fitzroy-square. Then she had 
liked him, and trusted him, and been read}' to open her guileless 
heart to him as her father's friend. To-night she looked at him 
with a new feeling, almost akin to horror, thinking that if God 
took away her father this man would only stand between her 
and the desolate outer world. This man would be her legal 
defender : perhaps her tyrant. 

She had the vaguest notions of a guardian's power, what he 
could or could not do. But it seemed to her that his power 
must be very great. He was, as it were, a father by law — and 
would have all a father's authority, with none of a father's love. 

And then that bare suggestion that her father might die, that 
an awful severance might end their happy union, had come upon 
her spirit like a sudden blast from the frozen north. She was 
half heart-bi - oken as she sat down to sing her little collection of 
old ballads, and the voice with which she began the " Land of 
the Leal " was even more plaintive than its wont. 

that she too might feel herself drifting gently away to that 
better land, so that when her father's time came there might be 
no parting ; that she who loved him so dearly might never be 
left in the barren world without him ! 

Mrs. Ollivant praised her voice, but wondered she should 
choose such sorrowful songs — she had sung her saddest that 
night. She was very quiet all the evening, sitting by the fire- 



Lost for Love. 37 

side listening to her father and the doctor. Mrs. Ollivant's 
little attempts to draw her out failed altogether. She had a 
new sense of unhappiness since that brief conversation with 
her father, and felt as if she could never be joyous again. 

Mark Chamney talked about Australia, his favourite topic, 
and Dr. Ollivant listened with his quietly attentive manner, 
saying little more than was necessary to keep his friend in full 
swing. Later he asked some questions about Mr. Chamney's 
plans for the future. 

" Ton don't mean to waste all your life in that old house yofl 
have taken, I suppose P " he said. " It's very well for a pro- 
fefsional man like me to live mewed-up in a London house all 
the year round ; but I've always considered that a man is only 
half alive who lives always in the same place. You'll travel, I 
suppose, when the winter is over, and show your daughter some- 
thing of the world — something more than she could find out 
from her maps and geographies at school. 

" I should like it well enough," answered the other thought- 
fully ; " only you know I'm a kind of patient of yours. Do 
you think I'm strong enough for that sort of work? " 

Flora watched the doctor's face breathlessly at this point, but 
that calm visage told her nothing, or only that Outhbert Olli- 
vant was by nature serious and thoughtful, not a man to speak 
lightly or be lightly moved from any purpose of his own. 

" Not to Mont Blanc or the Jungfrau, perhaps," he said with 
his quiet smile — that reassuring smile which had so often given 
birth to vain hopes in the breasts of those that beheld it. But 
then hope is the best medicine for a patient, the most potent 
stimulus for a nurse ; and a doctor who was not hopeful would 
rarely cure. 

" You're not strong enough to go to work in the same wild 
way you would have done twenty years ago," he went on ; " but 
I believe change of scene and easy-going travelling — travelling 
is made uncommonly easy nowadays — would do you a world ot 
good, as well as afford pleasure to Miss Chamney" — he could 
not quite bring himself to call her by her pretty Christian name 
yet awhile — " who must inevitably suffer if you keep her shut- 
up in Fitzroy-square much longer." 

" But I am not shut-up," the girl answered eagerly ; " we ga 
»or nice walks — don't we, papa? — in the other squares, and 
sometimes in Begent's Park. I am quite happy in London. 
But do you really think travelling would do papa good, Dr. 
Ollivant?" 

" I do, most decidedly." 

"If so, let us travel at once. 1 am ready to start to- 
morrow." 

" I should recommend waiting for fine weather." 



18 Ziott for Love. 

" Then we will wait for fine weather. We will do whatever 
is best for papa. But he is not ill, is he, Dr. Ollivant ? " 

" 111 ! " exclaimed Mark Chamney ; " why, what could put such 
a notion into this foolish Baby's head P " A timely reply, which 
saved Dr. Ollivant the embarrassment of being obliged to answer 
with one of his professional circumlocutions. He felt as if he 
could hardly endure to speak anything less than the truth to 
this girl, even at the risk of breaking her heart. " Will you 
dine with us to-morrow light, Ollivant, and see what kind of a 
fellow our new friend is r " Mr. Chamney said by-and-by, when 
Flora was putting on her hat. 

" Certainly. Miss Chamney's enthusiasm has awakened my 
curiosity. I should like to behold this paragon." 

Mrs. Ollivant gave a little sarcastic laugh, like an echo of 
her son's scornful tone. His opinions were her opinion. For 
him to dislike or disapprove was enough for her. That slow 
solitary life at Long Sutton had given her only this one creature 
to love and admire. From the hour of his birth she had wor- 
shipped him, had lived upon the thought of him during their 
severance, and existed only to please him now that they were 
reunited. He was her fetish. 

" Come now, Mrs. Ollivant," said Mark in his hearty way, 
unmindful of that ironical laugh ; " you'll come with your son, 
won't you? Flora, beg of Mrs. Ollivant to come." 

But Flora could not forgive that disparaging laugh, and said 
nothing. Mrs. Ollivant excused herself on the ground of never 
going anywhere — indeed, her son had never made for himself 
friends, at whose festive gatherings she might have been a guest. 
He had lived his own life, which was a solitary and sequestered 
life, and she had lived only for him. 

" My son will be with you," she said, " and he will be able to 
form an opinion of your new acquaintance. He is an acute 
judge of character." Her tone implied that the doctor was 
going to sit upon Walter Leyburne in the combined character 
of judge and jury. 

"Papa," said Flora, while they were going home in the cab, 
" I begin positively to dislike your Ollivants." 

" No, Baby," cried Mr. Chamney alarmed, " for God's sake 
don't say that. Such worthy people; such straightforward, 
conscientious people — and the only friends I have in the 
world." 

" Except Mr. Leyburne, papa." 

"My darling, we mustn't count Mr. Leyburne. You're so 
impetuous, Flora; and I begin to feel I have done wrong in 
asking him to my house " 

" Only since that horrid doctor has talked you into thinking 
bo, papa." 



Lost for Love. 39 

My dearest child, yon must not say such things. There 
isn't a better fellow in the world than Ollivant." 

" But, papa, it's more than twenty years ago since you saw 
anything of him; time enough for a man to develop into a 
murderer. He might be very well as a schoolboy, but I am sure 
he's odious as a man."" 

" Flora, this is shameful ! " exclaimed Mr. Chamney, getting 
j,ngry. " I insist upon your speaking with proper respect of 
Dr. Ollivant. I tell you again, he is my only friend. A man 
who lives the lonely life I lived for twenty years has no chance 
of making many friendships ; and I rely on his protection for 
you when I am gone. There, there, don't cry. What a foolish 
girl you are ! I am only talking of future possibilities." 

" If it were possible that I could lose you, and be thrown 
upon the mercy of that man, I think I should throw myself out 
of the cab this moment," said the undisciplined Flora, sobbing. 



CHAPTER Y. 

•* Is It thy will, thy image skould keep open 
My heavy eyelids to the weary night ? 
Dost thou desire my slumbers should be broken, 
While shadows, like to thee, do mock my sight f " 

The undisciplined Flora relented a little next day when the 
doctor came to dinner, and deported himself with a peculiar 
graciousness towards "Walter Leyburne. There had been time 
for Cuthbert Ollivant to think in the interval, and he had suf- 
fered no little shame and self-scorn at the thought of his petty 
burst of temper with reference to the unknown painter. 

" If I am to be his daughter's guardian some day — and God 
only knows how soon the day may come — I have some right 
to interfere, so far as to prevent that good-natured simpleton 
bringing dangerous people into his house; a painter, too; and 
a Bohemian, no doubt. And that silly girl is evidently in love 
with him already. But it was foolish of me to lose my temper 
about it." 

Very foolish, no doubt ; and Cuthbert Ollivant was not a 
man prone to foolishness. He wondered at his own impetu- 
osity, and determined to make up for his folly by extra civility 
to the obnoxious painter, by a calm and dispassionate con- 
sideration of the entire subject. 

"A good-looking young man, with sixty thousand pounds, 



40 Lost for Zote. 

bound to Chamney by the associations of the past, and met 
•with by the merest hazard in the city of London. It seems 
like a story-book. And the natural conclusion of the story 
•would be a marriage between the painter and Flora Chamney. 
I wonder whether it will end that way. I fancy that is what 
Chamney has in his head ; and he wants me to approve." 

He was walking up and down his consulting-room at the 
close of his day's labour, meditating upon this subject, as he 
had meditated many times during his daily round. 

" After all, it would be the best thing that could happen for 
me. If she marries in her father's lifetime, she will want no 
guardian except her husband. And what should I do with a 
pretty girl for my ward ? It's all very well to say my mother 
would take the care of her, and the management of her, off my 
hands. I should be responsible for her welfare all the same. 
And if she took it into her head to marry a scamp then, it 
would be much worse than her marrying a scamp now." 

A quiet contemplation of the subject in this light was calcu- 
lated to make Dr. Ollivant well disposed towards Mr. Leyburne; 
yet he had no friendly feeling for that person as he walked 
from Wimpole-street to Fitzroy-square. It was a calm clear 
evening, and even London in November was not utterly odious. 

He found the subject of his thoughts standing by the draw- 
ing-room fire talking to Flora — talking as if they had been first- 
cousins, allied by a lifetime of recollections and associations. 
Walter Leyburne's frank fair face was turned to him with a 
friendly smile in the lamplight, as Mr. Chamney introduced 
the two men ; and the doctor was compelled to confess to him- 
self that the face was pleasant, and even handsome. But, then, 
how many a scamp has a pleasant handsome face ! It is almost 
an attribute of scamphood. A scamp with sixty thousand 
pounds, however, is a less common character. 

Perhaps something in the young man's cordial easy manner 
pleased Dr. Ollivant in spite of his prejudices ; perhaps he had 
schooled himself by an effort to seem friendly. In any case, he 
did make himself agreeable to Mr. Leyburne, and regained 
Flora's good opinion. He saw the change in her, and divined 
its meaning. 

" To win her good-will, I have only to be civil to this fellow," 
he said to himself. " A poor compliment to me, as an indi- 
vidual." 

The little dinner was the gayest they had yet had in Fitzroy- 
square. Dr. Ollivant wou'c* not allow Mr. Leyburne to hava 
the talk all to himself. Hv talked of every subject that was 
started, and talked well — vriiu that tone of calm superiority 
which superior age and superior learning impart — spoke of art 
even, snowing himself master of all the critic's technicalities. 



41 

"I did not know you cared about pictures," said Flora, 
looking at him as if she beheld him suddenly in a new light, 
with some touch of wonder too, as if he were not the kind of 
man she could have supposed capable of appreciating pictures, 
or music, or flowers, or any of the more delicate charms of 
life. 

" Yes," he said, in his quiet way, " I do like — good pictures. 
There is about one in every year's exhibition that I should care 
to possess." 

" What a pity for all the other fellows ! " said Walter, piqued 
by the conviction that the doctor would not like his pictures. 

"I didn't see any pictures in Wimpole-street," said Mr. 
Chamney. 

" No ; the Wimpole-street furniture is my mother's, just as 
it came from Long Sutton — ugly, but familiar. It was hard 
enough to root her out of the Devonshire soil. I was obliged 
to bring away a little earth about the roots. In short, the old 
chairs and tables do well enough for me. I have not gone in 
for the refinements of life." 

"Which means that you are a confirmed old bachelor, I 
suppose ? " said Chamney, with his good-natured laugh. 

" I suppose so. I believe it is an understood thing that a 
man who doesn't marry before he's thirty is a confirmed 
bachelor. And yet there are instances of passion after that 
age, or history lies strangely." 

" Mark Antony, for example," cried Walter, with a keen re- 
collection of that useful personage to the art-world, Cleopatra." 

The dinner was altogether agreeable. Dr. Ollivant appeared 
in a new light — not the grave quiet physician, with dark con- 
templative eyes and a leaning to silence, but a man of many 
words — words that had a colour and sparkle about them, like 
finely-cut gems — enthusiastic, eloquent even. And above all, 
he was gracious to Walter Leyburne. Flora was subjugated; 
wondered that there could be such a clever man in the world, 
as it were unknown and unappreciated ; for she reckoned it as 
nothing that a man should have secured a fair practice, and 
a name in his profession, at five-and-thirty. There was a latent 
bitterness, a minor strain faintly audible in the doctor's most 
brilliant talk; a vague sadness that touched the tender girl- 
nature. She was inclined to pity him a little, as a man who 
had grown old in the dismal drudgery of a learned profession, 
and lived a lonely joyless life in a house that had a dreary look 
despite its well-ordered comfort. 

She glanced from the doctor to Youth and Hope incarnata 
in the person of Walter Leyburne ; a creature all smiles and 
brightness, whose nature seemed brimming over with joy, like a 
glass of sparkling wine in which a thousand tiny bubbles come 



42 Lost for Love. 

leaping up to the surface, as if they would say, "We are tha 
emblems of all earthborn joys ; see how soon we vanish !" 

Yes; that contrast between the slave of science and the 
disciple of art touched her; so she spoke to the doctor in 
her kindest tones, out of pure pity. 

The three gentlemen went up to the drawing-room with Flora 
directly after dinner, and she had Dr. Ollivant on her hands 
while she poured out the tea, Mr. Chamney and the painter 
having planted themselves on the hearth-rug to fight out a 
political battle. Mr. Leyburne was a Eadical, who derived his 
principles from Shelley and Leigh Hunt, and was somewhat 
astonished to find his pet theories bear no better blossom than 
broken park-palings and trade-unionism ; Mr. Chamney was a 
Conservative, on the ground of having money in the Funds. 

" No man with an interest in the government securities of his 
country has a right to be a Radical," he said. " The man who 
has anything to keep is bound to be a Conservative. I was a 
thorough-paced 'rad' when I worked my way out to Melbourne; 
but the day I began to save money was the day on which I went 
over to the opposition. Don't talk to me of the Revolt of Islam. 
What I see around us, sir, is the revolt of the tailors, the tinkers, 
the bakers, the candlestick-makers — a revolt whose inevitable 
result is the impoverishment of the well-to-do classes." 

While they were arguing this thesis, Dr. Ollivant was making 
his peace with Flora. A pleasant business it seemed to him, 
that business of reconciliation — and so new. To sit by the lamp- 
lit table and watch the fair hands moving noiselessly among 
the teacups, the sweet face bent a little in womanly solicitude, 
the soft eyes looking up at him half-shyly, half-confidingly, 
now and then, as his words made some special appeal to her 
attention. It was the newest thing that life could offer him ; as 
strange as if he had found himself emperor of half the world." 

" You were very angry with me last night, I'm afraid ? " he 
said, with a smile that was rather provoking, Flora thought, as 
if he remembered her indignation witb some sense of amuse- 
ment, as at the anger of a petted child. 

"I thought you unkind and unjust," she answered. 

" Because I ventured to express a doubt of your paragon — 
not having seen him, remember, and being therefore unaffected 
by the magic of his numerous graces." 

" That sounds as if you were still sneering at him. But now 
you have seen him, I hope you think a little better of him." 

" I think him a very agreeable young man, after the pattern 
of numerous other young men. But I am not even yet recon- 
ciled to his introduction here — to the privileged position which 
he occupies — while your father knows so little about him." 

" We know that he is the nephew of papa's old partner." 



43 

" I cannot recognise that as a certificate of character. George 
Barnwell was a nephew. However, I will say no more, since 
you like him so much." 

" I like him because he is so kind to me," replied Flora, blush- 
ing a little, but still answering with her accustomed frankness. 
" He is teaching me to draw correctly, and he sings — delight- 
fully." 

She would have used a stronger word — divinely — but checked 
herself, in fear of Dr. Ollivant's ridicule. 

"What ! he sings, does he? It seems he has all the gifts." 
This was said with a regretful sigh, that moved Flora again to 
pity. 

"He is not a clever doctor like you," she said, eager to 
console; "he cannot bring hope and healing to the sick and 
sorrowful, nor can he talk like you. I thought he was the best 
talker in the world, till to-night." 

The doctor smiled his slow thoughtful smile. "Was it possible 
that his deeper thought and wider knowledge had impressed 
even this shallow frivolous girl ; that she had discovered in him 
at least something which her new favourite lacked ? 

Not much longer did he enjoy the privilege of her sole atten- 
tion. She was called away to sing presently. 

" A duet, if you like, Mr. Leyburne," she said. So the doctor 
heard the two fresh young voices blending harmoniously, each 
taking strength and sweetness from the other. If he had been 
a younger man — a man without fixed purposes and desires to 
fulfil in life — he might almost have envied Walter Leyburne his 
pleasant tenor voice, seeing what a strong link it made between 
these two. But in his character of a man who had dispensed 
with all small passions and petty vices, sustained always by the 
real business of his life, he could only listen and approve ; or 
perhaps speculate vaguely upon what that hypothetical younger 
man might have felt. 

Once seated at the piano, Flora did not leave it till she rose 
to bid her visitors good-night. The old music-books afforded 
inexhaustible amusement. " Do you know this ? " and " Will 
you sing this ?" the two said to each other again and again as 
they turned the leaves. Whereupon there were attempts which 
sometimes resulted in success, sometimes in failure; efforts 
which were hardly intended for the amusement of the doctor or 
his host, who withdrew to the back drawing-room by-and-by, 
and sat by the fire talking. Dr. Ollivant faced the larger room, 
and could watch the two figures by the piano as he talked — and 
did watch them, as if his words had been little more than a 
running commentary on that group. 

" Well," said Mark Chamney, " what do you think of him P " 

" What can I think of him after so short an acquaintance 



4>4t Lost for Love. 

except that he is good-looking enough, and agreeable enough, 
and, I should think, conceited enough ? " replied the doctor, 
•with his dark watchful eyes upon the figure by the piano. 

" There you are wrong. He has no conceit; on the contrary, 
he has a deprecating way of talking about himself and his own 
ambition which is very winning." 

" Only a novel form of conceit. The man who runs himself 
down is always a vain man. He is so assured of his own 
transcendent merits, that, out of mere condescension and good- 
nature, to let himself down to the level of the ruck, as it 
were, he pretends to think lightly of himself. I have seen that 
kind of conceit in my own profession. And then you admit him 
to be ambitious ; ergo, he believes in himself." 

" His chances of success would be small if he didn't." 

" And yet, I suppose, he is a sorry dauber ? " 

" No, indeed. I don't pretend to be a judge of such matters. 
A picture to me is a picture, so long as there's plenty of colour 
about it. His struck me as rather bright and lively." 

" Bright and lively ! " said the doctor, with a shrug. " Yes, 
I know the kind of picture; the sort of thing that would make 
a good sign for an oil and colour shop. However, the young 
man is well enough in the abstract, Ohamney, and I really don't 
want to quarrel with you about him. Only, to my mind, he is 
out of place in this house." 

" How out of place ? " 

"Tour daughter is young and pretty — rather romantic, I 
fancy. He is good-looking and adventurous. Have you never 
speculated upon the possibility of their falling in love with 
each other ? " 

" The very thing I have speculated upon ; a thing I look upon 
as almost inevitable." 

" ! " said the doctor gravely, with a curious little droop of 
his flexible lower lip. " In that case I had better withdraw my 
objections." 

" On the contrary, you had better give me a friend's advice 
with a friend's candour." 

"And with the usual risk of giving mortal offence by my 
friendly truthfulness." 

" Now, look here, Ollivant," said Mr. Chamney, coming closer 
to the doctor. "Of course I know that you're — well, say 
diabolically clever — and that it's only natural for you to crow 
over me now as you used to crow over me when we were school- 
boys, while I was fool enough to like you in spite of the 
crowing. But this business is one that touches my daughter, 
and in anything that coneerns her interest I protest against 
being crowed over. Tou must give me your advice honestly, 
without chopping logic, as between man and man." 



Lost for Love. 45 

" As between man and man ! " repeated the doctor with a 
musing air. " I never quite caught the meaning of that phrase, 
though it always seems to stand for a good deal. Upon my 
word, Chamney, it appears to me that there is no room here for 
advice. You have set your heart on the match already ; and 
the young lady," with his eyes always turned towards the piano, 
" seems on the high-road to the same way of thinking." 

" Do you see any reason for supposing he would not make 
her a good husband ? " asked Chamney, coming straight to the 
point. " He has sixty thousand pounds. I can give my girl 
about half as much ; and he is a thoroughly good fellow." 

" An opinion you have arrived at after a fortnight's acquaint- 
ance," said the doctor. 

" Come, Ollivant, I told you just now I want advice not 
crowing." 

" What put this idea into your head P " 

" Can you ask me that when you know my uncertain lease of 
life ? What more natural than that I should want to see my 
darling married before I die ; that I should like to know the 
man to whose keeping all her future life is to be given — all the 
long years which I shall not see ; the years in which she will 
ripen into womanhood, and have children to love and honour 
her ? I should like to know the father of her children, though 
I may never live to see them." 

" Do you think a fortnight's knowledge is enough ? " 

" Am I a fool ? No, it is only an idea in embryo that I have 
trusted to you. I am not going to mortgage my darling's future 
until I can see pretty clearly ahead. But I thought it only 
right to let you into the secret of my fancy ; to let you see the 
young man, and form your own judgment of his character." 

" I am not so keen a judge as to discover a man's worth or 
worthlessness in a single evening I should think your protege 
somewhat shallow and frivolous ; but then that does not matter 
much to a woman, who is apt to be shallow and frivolous her- 
self." 

"That's an old bachelor's notion of women. Then you 
reserve your opinion, I suppose ? " 

" I reserve my opinion until I have seen a little more of you* 
paragon." 



46 Lost for Love. 



CHAPTER VI. 

"The Devil an* 
This fellow are so near, 'tis not yet known 
Which is the eviler angel." 

*•" Rather the ground that's deep enough for graves, 
Bather the stream that's strong enough for waves. 

Than the loose sandy drift, 
Whose shifting surface cherishes no seed 
Either of any flower or any weed, 

Which ever way it shift." 

Within a half-mile radius of Fitzroy- square there are streets 
which, although perhaps not absolutely disreputable — and it is 
not easy to know in London whether a street is disreputable or 
not — have a certain air of squalor, dispiriting to the mind of 
thewandering pedestrian or the cab-driven voyager who may 
happen to pass through them. Residents are doubtless uncon- 
scious of that depressing influence. " Be it ever so humble," 
says the song, " there's no place like home ; " and the scene which, 
to the passer-by, is suggestive of low spirits may, to the inha- 
bitant of the spot, breathe only of shrimps and water cresses 
and the muffin-bell, and all the tender associations of the 
domestic hearth. 

Voysey-street was a street of this order ; a broadish street, 
and with ample room and verge enough in the way of pave- 
ment, but purblind at one end, which only held communion with 
the outer world by a narrow isthmus of alley, where noisy chil- 
dren rioted all day long, and drunken men and women bawled 
by night, and which possessed for its chief attractions an eel- 
pie house, and a pork-butcher, popularly supposed, in the im- 
mediate neighbourhood, to purvey the finest pork in London. 
To eat spare-rib or griskin from Billet's was to enjoy a feast 
which Roman emperors might have envied, in the opinion of 
Voysey-street and Cave-square round the corner. 

There was a court dressmaker in Voysey-street ; a young per- 
son who exhibited stale fashion-plates and pink-tissue models of 
elaborate costumes in her window, and who made bonnets at 
half-a-crown, and dresses at four-and-sixpence, for the sur- 
rounding gentry, so that her connection with the Court must 
have been wholly a matter of imagination and door-plate. There 
was a chandler's shop at each end, and another in the middle. 
Indeed, the Voysey-streeters seemed to live almost entirely upon 
chandlery, and to be curiously independent of butchers' meat. 
There was a small shop for fish, of the dried and salted order, 
with occasionally a tub of bulky oysters, or a few limp-looking 



Lost for Love. 47 

plaice, to be had a bargain on sultry summer evenings. There 
was a newsvendor, who vended a variety of other articles, in the 
way of tobacco, small fancy goods, brandy-balls and jumbles, 
fireworks in the festive season of November, and walking-sticks 
all the year round, and who retailed a good deal of information 
respecting the immediate neighbourhood gratis across his own 
counter. These, with one more, a ladies' wardrobe, were all the 
shops in Voysey-street ; the rest of the houses were as private 
as any house could be in which several families abounding in 
small children inhabited the various floors, whose lodgers, with 
furniture and without furniture, seemed to change with all the 
changes of the moon, whose front parlours were sometimes 
small academies for the instruction of youth, miscellaneous as 
to sex and age, whose back parlours sometimes sank as low as 
mangling. Perhaps one of the shabbiest of the houses in this 
region of depression and decay was that whose parlour- windows 
exhibited the flabby stock-in-trade of a ladies' wardrobe. It is 
curious to observe the air of squalor and disreputability which 
pervades cast-off garments thus exposed for sale; as though 
the mere fact of repudiation debased the things, like a son or 
daughter turned out of doors. There is a hang-dog aspect about 
that sealskin jacket, which whispers of midnight wanderings and 
unholy lurkings at street corners ; an air half dejection, half 
indifference, marks that black-lace bonnet, with its garland of 
tumbled rosebuds and bent front. Yery difficult is it to imagine 
fresh and fair girlhood in that crumpled pink ball-dress, or 
waving that broken fan. And that plum-coloured satin, gor- 
geous in its decay — who could believe that it was ever the garb 
of respectable matronhood? There are wine splashes on the 
skirt that tell of nocturnal revels, mirth too wild, for gladness. 
The chance pedestrian glances at the window and hurries by 
with a shudder. Those tawdry garments hanging limply be- 
hind the dingy windows look to him like ghosts of the unhal- 
lowed dead. 
Not thus meanly, however, thought Mrs. Gurner, the pro- 

Erietress of the ladies' wardrobe, of that avocation which she 
ad chosen for the support of her declining years. To her mind 
it was a pursuit at once honourable and genteel. On the gen- 
tility she dwelt with peculiar fondness. There was no counter, 
she remarked, and there were no weights and scales ; none of 
the paraphernalia of plebeian trades. Plebeian trades- -chand- 
lery, shellfish, sweetstuff, and the like — might be brisker ; but 
they were inherently obnoxious to the mind of a bred-and-born 
lady, as compared with the exchange and barter of second-hand 
garments. That specieb of commerce was in a manner pro- 
fessional. You did not even ticket your goods, but speculated 
your price according to the appearance or disposition — as indi- 



48 Lost for love. 

cated by physiognomy and manner — of your customer. It wag 
a matter, Mrs. Gurner observed, of private " contact." 

Mrs. Guruer's years had been declining for a considerable time, 
or rather had declined to a certain point, and there remained 
stationary. She had been faded and elderly when she first came 
to Yoysey-street, nineteen years ago. She was faded and elderly 
still. It was believed in the neighbourhood that she had worn 
the same cap throughout that period — a structure of rusty black 
lace adorned with roses ; but this was not strictly true. The 
substructure was possibly the same, but the flowers had bloomed 
and faded with the changing years ; only never being new or 
clean, the change had not been noticeable. 

" I suppose it's only natural that, having plenty of handsome 
clothes always at my command, I shouldn't care about 'em," 
said Mrs. Gurner, in her low-spiritel way ; " anyhow, I don't. 
I should scarcely take five shillings' value off that plum-coloured 
satin if I was to wear it a month. Three-pennorth of benzine 
would bring it round again from any harm I should do it. But 
I don't feel the temptation. Give me my old black silk ; I al- 
ways feel the lady in it." 

A curious psychological fact this, tending to prove that an 
individual's inner consciousness may present to him an image 
widely different from that outward form which he wears before 
the eyes of his fellow-men. Mrs. Gurner, in the decomposed 
remains of a black-silk dress — a garment which was at once 
greasy, rusty, and of a dull greenish hue that suggested mouldi- 
ness, worn at the elbows, split under the arms, frayed at the 
cuffs, and ragged at the hem — may have felt a lady, but she 
certainly did not look one. But a black-silk gown in Voysey- 
street had a certain permanent value, independent of actual wear 
and tear; and as a man receiving the Order of the Bath writes 
himself K.C.B. or C.B. ever afterwards, so in Voysey-street a 
lady wearing black-silk raiment at once and for ever established 
her claim to gentility. 

Mrs. Gurner, though she was given to speak of herself, in 
relation to rent and water-rate, as a lone female, was not posi- 
tively alone in theworld. Her son and her son's daughter shared 
her humble abode. The son pretended to do a good deal — he 
was a genius in his way, and esteemed himself, in a large mea- 
sure, independent of the trammels that confine the footsteps of 
ordinary mankind — and succeeded in doing very little. He did, 
however, contribute to the expenses of the establishment in a 
spasmodic manner ; or the establishment must inevitably have 
suffered that complete collapse with which it was periodically 
threatened by landlord and tax-gatherer. For it is not to be 
supposed that the profits arising out of the exchange and 
barter of ten pounds' worth of second-hand soft goods could 



Lost for Love. 49 

have paid for the shelter, food, and clothing of three full-grown 
persons. 

Jarred's daughter helped her grandmother in the business and 
housework, waited on the lodgers, ran of errands, did whatever 
cleaning may have been done where everything seemed always 
dirty, and endured not a little reproof of a low-spirited kind, 
which the girl herself described as " nagging," from her elderly 
relative. The elderly relative " took the lead," as she called it, 
in the business, and cooked the viands for the family table ; a 
work of extreme care and nicety, for it is curious to observe that 
people whose food is of a limited or even fortuitous character, 
mysterious as the provender which the ravens brought to the 
prophet, are apt to be extremely particular about the cooking 
thereof. Jarred was as keen an epicure in his way as any 
gourmet at the clubs. 

That apartment which, in a more conventional state of society, 
would have been called the drawing-room, but which in Voysey- 
street was always spoken of as the first-floor front, was held 
sacred to the uses of Mr. Jarred Gurner. It was the most 
important room in the house and the best for letting, as Mrs. 
Gurner said, with her chronic sigh, and to relinquish it to 
Jarred was to relinquish a reliable source of income. But Jarred's 
avocations required a north light, and the first-floor front faced 
the north — nay, more, had a central window, which had been 
extended to the ceiling for the convenience of some artistic 
resident in days gone by, before Voysey-street had sunk below 
the artistic level. 

Jarred was an artist, and the tall window suited him to a 
nicety. He was a professor of the art of doctoring pictures and 
of doctoring violins, and wonderful were his ways in both arts, 
but most especially in the latter, which is an intricate and 
mysterious process approaching conjuration ; sinee, by the 
application of certain varnishes and a smoky chimney, Jarred 
could sometimes convert the most commonplace of fiddles into 
an Amati or a Guanerius. He conjured a little with the pic- 
tures, too, as well as with the fiddles, and could transmute the 
handiwork of any out-at-elbows dauber in his neighbourhood 
into a genuine Teniers or Ostade, a Eubens or Vandyke, to 
suit the turn of the market. 

Half the pictures in Wardour- street had been through 
Jarred's hands. The simpering, bare- shouldered, flaxen-ring- 
leted beauties of the Lely school, — he knew them to a turn of 
their little fingers, the pattern of their lace tuckers ; had sat 
staring at them meditatively many a night as he smoked his 
black-muzzled pipe, and wafted the tobacco-clouds across their 
vapid smiling faces, while he calculated the odds on an outsider 
or reviewed the performances of an established favourite. 

D 



50 Lost for Love. 

Jarred had various strings to his bow. He did a little in the 
stock-jobbing way now and then — of course in the pettiest form 
— took shares in new joint-stock speculations and sold them 
again, or failed to take them up and defied the directors, since 
it would have been throwing good money after bad to set the 
mighty engines of law to work with a view to making Mr. 
Gurner keep his engagements. He had put his hand to almost 
everything, as he used to boast in his playful way, " from pitch- 
and-toss to manslaughter." He had even done a little in the 
private-detective line, and although a mere outsider, had been 
acknowledged by some of the master minds in that noble pro- 
fession to be good at following up a trail. 

He was a broad-shouldered, strongly-built man, with some- 
thing of a gipsy look in his swarthy face and glittering black 
eyes — small eyes, but with an unusual brightness that made 
them striking. Perhaps his gipsy life had given that cast to his 
features ; that reckless, dare-devil turn to eye and lip, and even 
the crisp wave of his coarse black hair. You could have 
expected to meet him on a country common, with gold rings in 
his ears and a hawker's box upon his back, seeking whom he might 
devour. There was something gipsyish in his way of living 
even in Yoysey-street, and yet not social — a solitary Bohemian 
this, who liked best to take his meal by himself, at the snuggest 
corner of his hearth, in his one comfortable chair, and to sit 
alone and smoke and scheme afterwards. The women of his 
household were a bore to him. The wretched little room down- 
stairs, where they lived, and slept, and cooked, and ate, — the 
miserable make-believe parlour behind the shop, in which the 
bed by night vainly essayed to pass for a cheffonier by day, — 
was rarley honoured by his presence, and when his mother or 
his daughter came to his room, they knocked at the door in all 
humility before presuming to enter. Only when Jarred was in 
an especially good humour, when things had gone well with 
him in the City or in the betting-ring, when he had planted an 
Amati or a Rubens, did he deign to eat his supper with his 
kindred in the stuffy little chamber below stairs. Then his soul 
would expand over sprats or fried tripe, and he would tell them 
his schemes or impart his indignation against that destiny which 
had not provided him with unlimited capital. 

" I could do anything with capital ! " he would declare. 
" Give me a thousand pounds for my fulcrum, and I would die 
the equal of Rothschild." 

His daughter used to sit with her elbows on the table, although 
severely admonished thereupon by her grandmother, who never 
forgot to be genteel, and gaze open-mouthed and open-eyed upon 
her father. 

He had contrived to instil into her youthful mind the pro- 



Lost for Love. 51 

foundest belief in his genius, even without taking any pains to 
effect that end ; for his wild talk of his own talents, and the 
things he ought to have done and would yet do, when Fate 
should cease her opposition, was for the greater part mere 
soliloquy, or the letting-off of the superfluous steam which a 
lively imagination and an extra pint of sixpenny ale will en- 
gender in the human mind. 

Louisa Gurner believed implicitly in her father, and lived in a 
chronic state of anger against society at large for its neglect 
and ill-usage of him. It seemed a hard world in which such a 
man as Jarred Gurner could not have place and power, carriages 
and horses, a fine house to live in, costly raiment, and the fat of 
the land for his daily provender. There must be some cog-wheel 
loose, some endless web out of gear, in the machinery of a uni- 
verse in which Jarred had to wear shabby boots and eat scanty 
dinners. This feeling, fostered by the father's wild talk, had 
grown with Louisa's growth, and now found expression in a 
lurking discontent which pervaded the girl's nature, and was 
even visible in her handsome young face ; a delicate likeness of 
the father's, the eyes larger and softer of hue, the mouth smaller 
and more refined in form, but the same dark skin and wavy 
black hair, the same half-gipsy look, the same defiant pride in 
every lineament. As the beauty of fallen angels was the beauty 
of Louisa Gurner ; a fairness in which even admiring eyes found 
something akin to the diabolical. Yet, as Mr. Gurner was wont 
to observe in moments of good-humour, " Loo was not half a 
bad girl." Neither selfishness nor vanity found a congenial 
soil in the flower-gardens of Voysey-street. Other vices might 
spring up there and thrive apace ; but for these delicate flowers 
of evil there was but scanty nutriment. Louisa, having never 
known what it was to find her inclinations studied or her desires 
ministered to, had resigned herself, even before she turned up 
her back hair and lengthened the skirts of her shabby gowns, 
with advancing womanhood, to take life as she found it. It 
was her lot to accept the offal as her share of the sacrifice, to sit 
in the most uncomfortable chair, sleep on the veriest edge of 
her grandmother's bed, get up the earliest in the house and go 
to bed the latest, run on errands in wet weather, wear her shoes 
long after they had ceased to be any particular use as a protec- 
tion for her feet, eat the tail ends of mutton-chops and the 
gristly trimmings of the steak, and very often to find the 
guerdon of her daily sacrifice in a jobation from her father, 
larded with an oath or two, or an hour or so of intermittent 
nagging from her grandmother. 

A hard life, and Loo knew it — knew, too, that she was hand- 
somer than her neighbours, and sharper of intellect. Her glass 
— a sorry mirror for beauty, with the quicksilver worn off the 



52 Lost for Love. 

back in blotches, like a skin disease — told her that there wag 
more of life and colour in her face than in the common run of 
faces, all more or less pinched and pallid and agfed by premature 
cares, that belonged to the young women of Voysey-street. 
Nor was she often in the streets for a quarter of an hour with- 
out hearing some outspoken compliment to her good looks. 
But this knowledge inspired no vanity. What was the use of 
good looks without fine dress and a carriage ? 

" I think I'd as lief be ugly," she said to herself, " or liefer, 
for then I shouldn't be bothered or insulted when I'm out on an 
errand." 

One solitary pleasure brightened this joyless life. When 
Jarred's temper had been sweetened by the prospering of some 
scheme, or the success of some experiment in the doctoring 
line, he would suffer his daughter to bring her needlework up 
to his room and sit there while he smoked, or varnished, as the 
case might be. She had her favourite corner by the fire in 
winter — Jarred always kept a good fire, however pinched might 
be the handful of coals in the shrunken grate below — her 
favourite seat on the window-ledge in summer, half in the room 
and half out of it. But only too rare were those brief glimpses 
of bliss, for, as it has been already remarked, Jarred kept his 
womankind at a distance, and Louisa's evenings were usually 
spent in a depressing duologue with her grandmother, whose 
conversation was at best a prolonged monody upon one per- 
petual theme — the hardness of life for the race of Gurner. 

On this wet winter's night, less than a week after the little 
dinner in Fitzroy-square, Louisa has been allowed to bring her 
work up to Jarred's room, a worsted sock of her father's which 
she cobbles laboriously. It is the only work she is ever seen to 
accomplish, and it seems, to the casual observer, always the 
same sock, the same yawning gulf sundering sole from heel, the 
same dilapidation at the toe ; but she plods on mechanically, 
and makes no moan. Not that Louisa is fond of needlework. 
" There never was such a poor hand as our Loo at her needle," 
says Mrs. Gurner, when she holds forth upon her granddaughter's 
imperfections. Loo has a passion for novel-reading and for music 
— will sit upon the ground or the fender, a slatternly crouching 
figure, for hours together, if only let alone so long, poring over 
a tattered romance, or will steal up to her father's room when 
he is abroad to pick out tunes, or accompany her snatches of 
song on the battered old piano that lurks — a convenient shelf 
for empty pewter pots, clay pipes, boots that want mending, 
and old newspapers — in one corner of the room. She i3 not 
voiceless, Loo, but has a powerful undisciplined contralto, which 
is the very opposite of Flora Ohamney's clear carol. Nor i3 
she quite as ignorant as the majority of young women in 



Lost for Love. 53 

Voysey-street, though she has graduated only in the Voysey 
street academies. She has managed to pick up some shreds and 

Eatches of education from her father — enough, at least, to teach 
er the sordid misery of her existence, and the bare fact that 
there is a higher kind of life somewhere beyond the regions of 
Voysey-street. She has learned to be angry with destiny for 
casting her lot in this back slum, and is in this respect unlike 
the aborigines, who talk as if Voysey-street were the world, and 
round the corner the edge of another universe which they have 
no desire to penetrate. There are dwellers in Voysey-street 
who hardly know what it is to turn that corner in all the days 
of their life. Their ambitions and desires are all bounded by 
Voysey-street, and the court where the celebrated pork-putcher 
turns his sausage-machine. If they grew rich — a contingency 
remote to the verge of impossibility — they would make no eager 
rush to Prince's-gate or Park-lane. They would only riot in 
the luxuries of Voysey-street; sup continually upon tender 
pigling ; wallow in the humbler varieties of shellfish ; go to a 
theatre now and then, perhaps, or even take an eight-hour view 
of ocean ; but only to come back with hearts more fondly turned 
to Voysey-street. This is the condition of mind proper to 
Voysey-street — simple as the soul of the Hawaian savage, 
whose bread-fruit groves and coral-bound bays are all he knows 
of land or sea ; but education had removed Louisa from this 
Arcadian simplicity, and to her vitiated mind Voysey-street 
was hateful. 

She sat upon her favourite corner of the fender on this par- 
ticular evening, sometimes darning assiduously, and sometimes 
stopping, with her sock-clad arm stretched lazily across her lap, 
to stare at the fire and meditate, a slovenly figure, with dark 
hair loose about its brow, clad in a worn stuff gown, whose 
original colour had been disguised by dirt until it had as much 
depth of tone of one of Jarred's sham Eembrandts. 

A slatternly figure, but somewhat picturesque withal, needing 
but transference to a background of Spanish posada to be as 
fine a piece of colour as a picture by John Philip. 

She wore a little scarlet handkerchief round her throat, which 
made a patch of brightness against that deeper tone, and her 
dark eyes reflected the firelight; a picturesque light, which 
brightened the pale olive skin, flickered on the full red lips, set 
firmly in a thoughtful mould wherein there was a shade of 
melancholy too much for youth, even in Voysey-street. Jarred 
— smoking his pipe in luxurious idleness, after a couple of hours' 
gluing and varnishing, which he called a hard day's work — was 
content that his only child should sit and stare at his fire, 
but was in no humour for talk, and was not going to put 
himself out of the way for her amusement. 



54 Lost for Love. 

"What's for supper?" he asked anon, pausing to refill hia 
pipe. 

" I think it's tripe, father.' 

" Think ! You oughtn't to think about a fact. It is or isn't 
tripe. Tou can't think about it." 

" I beg your pardon, father," the girl answered meekly ; " it 
is tripe. I fetched it myself." 

" Then I hope you fetched it double, with plenty of fat ; that 
thin stuff your grandmother gives me sometimes is no better 
than stewed washleather. Hark! there's the street-door bell. 
Who can that be to-night ? " 

" Some one for grandmother, perhaps," speculated the girl. 

"Very likely." 

But Mr. Gurner bestirred himself nevertheless, put away a 
dissected violin in a convenient drawer, flung a cloth over an 
ancient-looking Holy Family born three weeks ago, and attain- 
ing premature age as in a hotbed or forcing-house ; and having 
assured himself that his room was fit for the reception of a 
visitor, went back to his chair. 

" See who it is, Loo," he said. 

But before the girl could stir, the question was answered by 
the approach of a familiar footstep, which came lightly and 
swiftly up the stair, while a tenor voice, at its fullest pitch, 
sang the opening bars of " La mia letizia." 

" It's Mr. Leyburne, father." 

"Yes, and I haven't touched that Dutch interior of his," 
said Jarred, with a glance towards a corner where three or four 
frameless canvases were piled against the wall. 

It was Mr. Leyburne, resplendent in his velvet coat, and with 
a lighted cigar between his finger tips, who came into the room 
still singing, in the primo-tenore manner, all diminuendo and 
crescendo, and anon, having finished his final phrase, saluted 
the restorer with a familiar nod. 

" Well, my revered renovator, have you been baptising a 
fiddle with the baptism of copal and mastich, or elaborating 
a Raffaelle ? How do you do, Miss Gurner ? You haven't 
touched that little bit I brought you, I suppose, Gurner ? " with 
a rapid survey of the dimly-lighted room — Jarred had turned 
down the gas when he left off work. " Rather a tidy little bit, 
I flatter myself, and, unless I'm vastly deceived, a genuine Jan 
Steen." 

"You wouldn't be likely to be deceived," said Jarred, with his 
plausible gipsy smile. " It isn't to be supposed you'd be taken 
in like some of our City customers — stockbroking gentlemen, 
who set up their villas at Tulse-hill and Clapham, with vineries 
and pineries, and so on, and want genuine Titians and Veronesea 
at five pound per square foot." 



Lost for Love. 55 

" Well, no, I am a little better judge than your City swell, I 
hope. Still any fellow may be taken in. But I think there's 
something good in that Dutch bit. I got it of a dealer in 
Long-acre; had a couple of brand-new blue-and-green land- 
scapes in the middle of his window, and the Jan Steen in a 
corner, poked away anyhow behind some gimcrack Dresden 
china. " What do you want for that little brown bit P " said I. 
" Seven pound ten," said he. " Give you five," said I. "Frame's 
worth the money," says he, which, by the bye, is the inevitable 
remark of a dealer if you offer him a price for his picture. 
" I'll give you five, and toss you for the difference," says I. 
Dealer wouldn't — wished him good-morning — changed his mind 
and would. Tossed him for the two ten, and won the toss. 
And I believe he was glad to get the fiver. Turn up your gas, 
Gurner, and let's have another look at it." 

Since his accession of fortune Mr. Leyburne had amused 
himself by turning collector in a small way, and had lined the 
walls of his lodgings with those treasures of art which he had 
amassed in the course of his peregrinations, and the greater 
number whereof he had intrusted to Jarred to clean and varnish. 
But he had not gone wildly to work, being a prudent young 
fellow enough in spite of his light-hearted gaiety, and not one 
of those young men to whom being left a fortune means 
ultimate ruin. He found a good deal of spending in three or 
four hundred pounds, and his chief delight was derived from 
the picking up of various canvases in out-of-the-way corners, 
every one of which, in its brief span of novelty, he implicitly 
believed in as an original. 

Jarred knew Mr. Leyburne's ways, and as every picture 
which passed through Jarred' s hands was worth a matter of 
thirty shillings to him, it may be supposed that he prophesied 
smooth things about these works of art, and only threw in a 
doubt or a rough word here and there to prove his frankness 
and loyalty. 

The gas was turned up to its fullest — a couple of strong 
flaring jets, unshaded by globe or chimney — and Mr. Gurner 
brought the little picture and placed it on a dilapidated easel 
exactly under the light, while Walter Leyburne and Loo put 
their heads close together to peer into it. The girl had been 
half brought up on pictures, as it were, and had a mechanical 
knowledge of the various masters — that a brown-faced Madonna 
was a Murillo ; a pallid or bluish-complexioned saint or saintess 
likely to be a Guido, especially if with saucer-shaped upward- 
gazing eyes; that sheep were never painted by anybody but 
Ommeganek ; that dark inscrutable pictures relieved by dabs 
of the palette knife here and there were Salvator Rosas ; and 
bo on, <md so on, through the whole catalogue of art. The Jan 



56 Jbost for Love. 

Steen wa3 the usual kind of thing — an old woman peeling 
vegetables, and another old woman looking at her; still life, a 
brass pipkin or two, a bottle and glass on the table, a half-open 
door with glimpse of inner room. 

" To my mind," said Walter, gazing at his picture with the 
fondness of a discoverer, as Cortez may have gazed at the 
Pacific or Columbus on the coast of America, " there's no 
question about that. If I were hard up to-morrow, I shouldn't 
be afraid of offering that picture to the National-Gallery fellows. 
It's worth seven hundred and fifty pounds or it's worth 
nothing." 

" I shouldn't be surprised if it were," said Jarred ; and then 
they both went into the picture technically, and discussed its 
merits in minutest detail. 

" It's the detail in these things that constitutes their charm, 
you see," said Walter Leyburne ; " there's nothing beautiful in 
an old woman peeling onions per se." 

" No," replied Jarred ; " if I were a millionaire like you, I 
shouldn't go in for old women — no, not if they were Jan Steens, 
or Ostades, or Brauwers. I'd hang my walls with beauty. 
There's that Guido, for instance — that's a picture you ought to 
have. I don't say so because I've got it to sell. I only wish I 
was rich enough to hang it up over that mantelpiece. I should 
sit and gaze at it by the hour together, and feel myself a better 
man for looking at it." 

Jarred said this with a glance at a large picture in the corner 
— a bluish-complexioned Magdalen gazing upward, from a back- 
ground of purple sky, a masterpiece which he had vainly endea- 
voured to dispose of for a long time. 

" I don't like large pictures, Gurner, and that Guido of yours 
is a duffer. Sell her to one of your City men by the square 
foot. She'd do uncommonly well between the windows in a 
Russell-square dining-room." 

Louisa withdrew to her corner by the fire, but not to her 
favourite seat on the fender, nor yet to the resumption of her 
darning. She sat watching the visitor as he paced up and down 
the room, smoking his cigar. There was little need for punctilio 
in this respect, since the atmosphere of Mr. Gurner's sanctum 
was at all times heavily charged with tobacco. Walter took the 
cigar from his lips every now and then to talk of art, in a wilder 
way than he had ever talked to his friends in Fitzroy- square, 
and with something less of modesty. Here indeed, in a chamber 
as it were sacred to the inner mysteries of art, his soul expanded, 
his countenance glowed with a noble fire, or a light which at 
least seemed noble to Louisa. He talked of himself, the things 
he meant to do in the future, measured himself boldly against 
the men who had succeeded, and declared his ability to match or 



Jjost for Love. 57 

surpass their work in the days to come. His wildest talk, how- 
ever, seemed hardly the boastful utterance of a shallow vanity, 
but rather the bold defiance which a mind conscious of latent 
strength hurls in the teeth of destiny. 

" They may snub me to-day, Gurner," he said, " but hey 
shall change their note before I have done with them. Time 
and work, that's the motto for a man who wants to succeed, 
isn't it, old fellow?" 

" Time and work," repeated Jarred, to oblige his patron ; but 
had he been asked for his own specific, he would more likely 
have said, " Time and varnish." 

The young man had been stung by the rejection of a small 
picture in one of the winter exhibitions. Even the conscious- 
ness of sixty thousand pounds in the Funds afforded no healing 
balm for that wound. It was only by a little self-assertion, by 
wild rhapsodies about honest work and future success, that he 
could find a balsam for his pain. He stopped suddenly, in the 
middle of a tirade, flung away the end of his cigar, and burst 
out laughing — at himself — in the frankest, pleasantest way 
possible. 

" What a fool I am ! " he exclaimed. " What a consummate 
jackanapes you must think me, Miss Gurner ! Only when a 
fellow gives one a slap in the face like that — a fellow one can't 
hit again, you see — the only way one can let the steam off is in 
talk. I daresay the fellows who rejected my picture — you've 
seen it, Gurner : ' Werter's first Meeting with Charlotte ' — 
were right enough. I shall think it a daub myself in a month's 
time, I've no doubt. I generally do. But if there's any stuff in 
me, I won't have it trodden out of me, eh, Gurner ? " 

" I wouldn't give the snap of my finger for the opinion of all 
the hanging committees in London," said Mr. Gurner, with 
supreme contempt. " Prejudice and self-interest and conveni- 
ence are the three judges that sit upon your pictures. That 
' Werter and Charlotte ' was a gem — full of beauty and 
expression — the still life admirable — the modelling — well, there 
are not many young men in the Academy who could touch you 
there." 

"Don't say another word about it," protested Walter, gratified 
notwithstanding. " I am a selfish fool to come here and prose 
about myself and my disappointments. I hope you'll forgive 
me, Miss Gurner," he added, with that natural graciousness 
which distinguished him when he spoke to women. 

"I like to hear you talk about yourself," the girl answered 
naively. 

" Do you ? That's very good. I fear I must be an insuffer- 
able bore. But then you're fond of pictures, I know, and can 
take an interest even in a struggling painter." 



58 £<08i jor ijove. 

" A struggling painter with a fortune at his back ! " cried 
Jarred. " That's what I call a rum start." 

" Now look here, Gurner. I'm not going to say I don't value 
money, for I do. I saw too much of poverty in my childhood — 
genteel poverty, you know, which is the worst of all- — not to 
value good fortune. But I verily believe I could surrender all 
the money my uncle left me without a sigh, and begin life 
again a friendless lad in the streets of London, if I could paint 
like Etty or John Philip." 

He kept his word, and spoke of his own struggles no more 
that evening, though he stayed late, and talked of art in the 
abstract a good deal, while Loo sat by and listened, and forgot 
for a little while that life meant only Voysey-street. He was 
very far away from her life, this noble young painter ; but such 
an evening as this was an oasis in the desert of her sordid exist- 
ence, and she rejoiced in the cool verdure, and quenched her 
thirst at the limpid stream, and put away all thought of to- 
morrow's waking, when there would be nothing left but sand 
and barrenness. 

There was a warmth and earnestness in Walter Leyburne's 
talk at all times which made him almost eloquent, and though, 
perhaps, there might be little positively new in his ideas, he 
was so different from the conventional young man who believes 
in nothing but boredom, that he at least appeared original. 
His hair, his eyes, his gestures, were all brightness and vivacity. 
He was a creature all life and variety — depressed one minute, 
elated the next, changing with a hundred shifting shades of 
feeling. 

" Upon my word, Gurner, there is something extraordinary in 
this queer old room of yours. I always enjoy myself here ; I 
suppose it's because you let me talk so much. I came out 
to-night in a fit of despair — the black dog had me in his grip — 
and I have talked myself into good spirits. Or perhaps it is 
your influence, Miss Gurner," with a friendly little look at poor 
Loo, a friendly glance that shot straight to her heart. Can a 
girl of eighteen exist without admiring something ? and, after 
her father, Walter Leyburne was the sole object Louisa had 
to admire. 

" I shouldn't think her influence went for much," said Jarred, 
moodily, " considering that she sits there like a log, and never 
opens her mouth." 

The girl coloured high at the reproof. 

" I suppose it's nature's fault if I'm stupid," she said ; " so 
you needn't throw that in my teeth, father ; and I don't see that 
it's my fault if I'm ignorant. I'd have been glad enough to 
learn if any one would have taken the trouble to teach me." 

This was true enough. She had besought her father, even 



Lost for Love. 59 

with tears, to help her a little out of his vast storehouse of 
knowledge ; but Jarred was too lazy even to impart the little he 
knew. 

" I must protest against any insulting comparison between 
Miss Gurner and a log," cried Walter eagerly. " It is one thing 
to be silent— another thing to be a log. Now Miss Gurner is an 
admirable listener. I don't believe I should have rambled on 
half as long if it hadn't been for her delightful listening. She 
has a rapt look which inspires one — the lips a little parted, like 
a statue of Wonder. I wish you would let me — I wish Miss 
Gurner would let me paint her in one of my pictures. I have 
an idea for something better than Charlotte and Werter — a sub- 
ject from Boccaccio, or something in that way. May I paint 
you. Miss Gurner? 

" She'll let you fast enough," grumbled Jarred. " She has 
nothing else to do. But I don't know whether her grandmother 
would like it. She's precious particular in her notions, is the 
old lady — can't forget that she was brought up to something 
better than buying and selling second-hand rags." 

It was as well to make a favour of the business, but Jarred, 
good easy man, had not the faintest objection. What if his 
girl— who was certainly a good deal better-looking than the ruck 
of girls — should captivate this young fellow, with his sixty 
thousand pounds P There'd be a stroke of luck. It was hardly 
likely, though. The girl's surroundings were too much against 
her, and the young men of the present day are so cool-headed 
and cool-hearted, so keenly alive to their own interests. No, it 
was scarcely within the range of possibility, thought Jarred, 
looking at his daughter's untidy hair, worn gown, and listless 
attitude. He was almost sorry he had not taken a little more 
pains with her. If a worn-out old violin, bought from a fiddler 
in an orchestra, can, by much labour and artful manipulation, 
be doctored into the semblance of a Straduarius, why should 
not a girl like that have some capability in her that might be 
worth cultivation ? But it was too late now ; the chance was 
gone. There the girl was, unkempt, untaught, uncared for — 
a weed instead of a flower. No one but an idiot could imagine 
that she would have power to charm such a man as Walter 
Leyburne. 

" Leave me to talk over the old lady," said Walter. " I have 
set my heart upon putting your daughter into my next 
picture." 

The girl brightened and blushed, but said nothing. This was 
a kind of praise, but, 0, so different from the insulting compli- 
ments that had been muttered in her ear by wandering strangers 
as they passed her in the street. 

The painter had been struck by a sudden notion that there 



60 Lost for Love. 

was sometniug original in the girl's face— something more than 
the mere pink-and-white prettrness which he could have for his 
model any day for eighteenpence an hour; something striking; 
something which — if he could only represent it faithfully — would 
make people stop before his canvas and exclaim, "There's a 
curious picture ! " 

" By Jove, I've hit it ! " cried the painter, in a sudden rapture. 
"That for Boccaccio!" snapping his fingers contemptuously. 
" I'll paint her as Lamia." 

" Lamia ! " echoed Louisa wonderingly. 

" "Who may she be when she's at home ? " asked Mr. Gurner. 

" Keats's Lamia, the mysterious serpent-woman ; " and then 
he spouted those wondrous lines : 

" ' She was a Gordian shape of dazzling hue, 
Vermilion-spotted, golden, green, and blue ; 
Striped like a zebra, freckled like a pard, 
Eyed like a peacock, and all crimson barr'd ; 
And full of silver moons, that, as she breathed, 
Dissolved, or brighter shone, or interwreathed 
Their lustres with the gloomier tapestries — 
So rainbow-sided, touch'd with miseries, 
She seem'd at once some penanced lady elf, 
Some demon's mistress, or the demon's self.' " 

"I've no objection," said Jarred, "provided you paint her 
here. You can bring your traps, I suppose ? " 

"Of course," answered Walter; "I shouldn't dream of 
troubling Miss Gurner to come to my rooms ; " with as deferen- 
tial an air as if Miss Gurner had been the daughter of a duke, 
who could be no more moved from her particular sphere than 
the stars from their orbits. 

So the business was settled, "Walter pledging himself to van- 
quish any genteel prejudice on the part of Mrs. Gurner, and the 
young man began to pace the room talking of his picture. It 
was to be a bishop's half-length ; none of your cabinet pictures, 
all finish and namby-pambyism, but a life-size figure, the very 
woman as she stood before him to-night, with those dark grand 
eyes, that ivory paleness of cheek and brow, those full crimson 
hps with their perfect curve, that loose shadowy hair — the very 
woman, only glorified by his heart. By such a picture as this 
he might spring at one sudden bound into the arms of Fame. 
The world should find out that he had stuff in him — that he 
was not a mere amateur, a dabbler in art, serene in the security 
of a handsome income* No, Lamia should make him. 

Lamia, or her representative, slipped from the room presently, 
unobserved, to " see to" the supper, or, in other words, fetch 
the beer from a neighbouring tavern, lay the cloth, dish the 
potatoes, and submit to a good deal of mild nagging from her 
grandmother. 



j^ost jor .Love. 61 

" I may toil and slave as much as I please," wailed that 
victim ot untoward fate, "watching the tripe till my eyes 
water, to keep it off the boil, but you can take your pleasure 
up-stairs, carrying-on with that young man, I make no doubt." 

" I dor.'t know what you call carrying on, grandma," mut- 
tered the girl, in a low dull voice that might mean either resig- 
nation or indifference ; " I haven't spoke half-a-dozen words to 
him, and I can't see much carrying-on in that." 

" If he hadn't been there, I suppose you'd have come down- 
stairs to help me with the tripe." 

" I didn't think there was much help wanted. I peeled the 
onions and fetched the milk before I went up." 

" You wouldn't have stayed up there quite so long for your 
father." 

" Yes, I would," answered the girl boldly, making a little 
unnecessary clatter with the knives and forks she was arranging 
on the shrunken tablecloth, of more than doubtful purity; "I 
always like to be with father. He may swear sometimes, but he 
doesn't nag." 

The matron refrained from any direct notice of this shot. 

" Ah ! " she said, with a plaintive sigh, " the Gurners were 
always ungrateful. It's in the blood, I suppose. There's your 
father. I may toil and moil for him from before there's a shop 
open in the street till hours after the last of 'em has shut, and 
not get a thank you, or a civil word, if he's in one of his 
tempers. There's my daughter Mary went off to the other end 
of the world directly our family troubles came, and left her 
mother to face them alone." 

" Aunt Mary wanted to take you to Australia with her, 
grandma. I've heard you say so twenty times over," expostu- 
lated Loo, putting down the mustard with an indignant dab. 

"Wanted me to go!" wailed the dame; "a pretty want, 
indeed, when she knew that going to Margate by water was a 
trial beyond my strength. 

" You might have got over a little sea-sickness, I should think, 
to get away from England, after — after what you've told me," 
said Loo. " I'm sure I'd have gone, and gladly, though I'd had 
to go through fire as well as water, if I'd happened to be born 
in those days." 

" You!" cried the elder lady, contemptuously ; "you're made 
of a finer clay than a Shrubson, I daresay." Shrubson was 
Mrs. Gurner's maiden name. 

" I've got my feelings," answered Loo, setting down the bread 
with a bang ; " even the life we live can't quite stifle them. 
Hark, here comes father — and — Mr. Leyburne." 

She gave a hurried glance at the dim old looking-glass over 
the chimney-piece, and saw her angry face and tumbled hair 



62 Lost for Love. 

with an angry feeling in her breast. Paint her — a creature like 
her — whose odious suroundings seemed to he reflected in her face ? 
Yes, paint her, for some vile character, no doubt. The serpent- 
woman, he had said — something frightful, revolting. Her sharp 
white teeth clenched her under-lip angrily at the thought. And 
she bad been fool enough, at first, to feel flattered by the idea 
that he could trouble himself to make a likeness of her. There 
was a little pause at the parlour door. Tes, Mr. Leyburne was 
coming in. She took a hurried survey of the room ; so small, 
so crammed with furniture, so untidy ; the too-obvious press- 
bedstead, a heap of her grandmother's garments huddled indis- 
criminately in a decrepit old arm-chair, of a fashion so lost in 
the gloom of ages, that Noah might have carried such an one 
into the ark for the accommodation of Mrs. Noah. 

" Come in and sit down," urged Jarred at the door. "What's 
your hurry ? " 

The painter looked into the room doubtfully. It was not a 
nice room, but there was his Lamia, busy with a saucepan of 
potatoes. Should he go back to his own rooms and think-out 
his new picture with the aid of a solitary cigar, or should he 
stop and talk to Jarred Gurner while that versatile genius ate 
his supper ? Jarred was an intelligent companion ; there were 
always some stray grains of corn to be winnowed out of that 
chaff which formed the staple of his discourse. 

" What's your hurry ? " repeated Jarred. " You young 
fellows are always going to the Albion for tripe suppers. Why 
can't you sit down and eat your supper with us ? The old lady 
there is a first-rate hand at stewed tripe." 

Mr. Leyburne acknowledged a slight weakness for tripe, but 
tripe at the Albion — clean table-linen, spotless glass and 
China — was one thing ; the same dish in this stuffy parlour 
might have a different savour. But then there was Lamia, and 
he had to conciliate the old lady. Moved by this last considera- 
tion, he took his place at the little round table, at which there 
was hardly room for four. But Loo did not require any 
supper. 

"I'm not hungry, grandma," she said, in her indifferent way; 
" there's no use in my crowding the table." 

" The English of it is she doesn't like tripe," said Jarred, with 
his mouth full ; " I never knew a woman that did. They haven't 
sense enough." 

Loo sat down in Mrs. G-urner's easy-chair — the antediluvian 
chair — after pushing its various contents into a corner. She 
sat and watched the little supper party, and wondered what 
Walter Leyburne thought of the room, and i er grandmother, 
and their life altogether, and whether he was very much dis- 
gusted at being obliged to eat and drink amidst such surround- 



ujosi jor jjove. 63 

ings. His manner gave no indication of such disgust. He 
drank the sixpenny ale, and laughed and talked with all his 
habitual light-heartedness, having by this time put away his 
disappointment at the rejection of his picture as a grief that 
was past and gone. That ideal picture which was to make him 
for ever renowned had assumed a new shape. Werter and his 
Charlotte might wander out into darkness and chaos, might 
turn their faces to the wall ; Lamia should open the stubborn 
door of Fame's temple, that mystic portal which he had been 
storming for the last two years with the battering-ram of 
youthful energy. 

Jarred, warmed by the cheque which Walter had just given 
him on account of the Jan Steen, was unusually brilliant. 
They discussed all the pictures of the year ; gave each man his 
place, rather lower places than the public had given ; pooh- 
poohed the critics ; laughed at the mob which admires out of 
slavish imitation, as sheep follow the bell-wether; in short, 
they ran the whole gamut of that argument which is the chief 
consolation of unsuccessful men. 

" You haven't been round here so often lately, Mr. Leyburne," 
said Mrs. Gurner when the conversation flagged a little, as the 
men moved their chairs away from the table, and prepared for 
their after-supper smoke on each side of the narrow fireplace, 
Jarred next his daughter, who sat almost buried in the shadow 
of the bulky arm-chair; " I began to think you had forgot us." 
"Then you did me injustice, Mrs. Gurner," answered the 
young man in his cheery way ; " I'm not in the habit of for- 
getting old friends, even for the sake of new ones. And I've 
made some new friends since I was here. Let me see, when 
was it ? " 

"A fortnight on Tuesday," said Louisa, from the corner. 
" I didn't know friends was made so quick." 

" Good, Miss Gurner ! I see you can be bitter and aphoristic 
when you like. Well, say acquaintance — or — no, I think we 
must call these friends. The circumstances are exceptional." 

Jarred showed himself curious to learn the nature of these 
exceptional circumstances. Loo sat very still, curled up in her 
big chair, with her eyes shining out of the shadow. 

Walter, inspired by sixpenny ale, gave full swing to his 
natural frankness and expansiveness, and told all that there 
was to be told about Mr. Chamney and his daughter. How 
Flora was the prettiest creature he had ever seen in his life ; or, 
if not positively the prettiest, the most interesting, the most 
winning, the most lovable. 

" If I were to put her in a picture, I don't suppose half a 
dozen people would stop to look at it," he said ; "for all that's 
brightest and best in her beauty would escape my pencil. 



64 Lost for Love. 

There's something spiritual in her face that strikes one at the 
first moment; but after knowing her a fortnight, and seeing 
her nearly every day, I can't say where the charm lies. Is it in 
her soft grey eyes, I wonder, or the sweet thoughtful mouth, or 
the delicious smile that flashes out unawares and breaks up the 
thoughtful look ? " This in a musing tone, to himself rather 
than to his auditors. " I really don't know what it is, and I 
won't attempt to describe her; but she is a most enchanting girl." 

Loo drew herself farther back into her corner — coiled herself 
up in her obscurity, almost as if there had been some touch of 
the serpent in her nature. There must have been in her com- 
position some latent vein of envy and all uncharitableness, some 
perverted feeling engendered out of poverty and wretchedness ; 
for this praise of another's beauty stirred a sullen anger in her 
breast. This picture of a woman, charming alike in herself and 
her surroundings, wounded her as keenly as a premeditated 
insult. It seemed only a roundabout way of telling her how 
low and common and unworthy she was. 

"Humph!" exclaimed Mr. Gurner, with a jovial significance. 
" And this young lady with the spiritual countenance is the 
only child of a rich father, your late uncle's partner, and you 
see her every day. That sounds like St. George's, Hanover- 
square." 

Mr. Leyburne laughed in a comfortable, self-satisfied way. 

" She is the dearest girl in the world," he said ; " and I ought 
to be the happiest man in creation if I can win her. But you 
mustn't talk about any such thing, Jarred. I've no right to sit 
here and rhapsodize about her. It's all in the clouds yet 
awhile." 

" I don't suppose it will stop long in the clouds," answered 
Jarred, with a faint spice of bitterness. " There can't be much 
reason for waiting when there's plenty of coin. It's only we 
poor folks who have to hang back from the church-door for fear 
it should prove a short cut to the workhouse. There's my girl 
there now, for instance," indicating Loo with a flourish of his 
pipe ; " she hasn't a bad figure-head, and would pass muster if 
she was tidy and better dressed. Yet I warrant she'll have to 
wait an uncommon time before she finds a husband that can 
give her three meals a day and a house to live in." 

Loo blushed scarlet at this paternal speech. 

" Who said I wanted a husband, father ?" she exclaimed in- 
dignantly. " Do you think a woman has nothing better to think 
of than husbands? I've seen too much misery come of hus- 
bands in Voysey-street. If I have to go out charing when I'm 
old, I'd rather char for myself than for a drunken husband, as 
I've seen some do in our street." 

" A hard idea of life, as seen from Voysey-street," said Walter, 



Lost for Love. 65 

with his good-natured laugh. "But let us hope you may not 
be obliged to spend all your days in Voysey-street, Miss Gurner. 
There are places where all husbands are not given to drink, or 
all wives reduced to charing." 

" What's the good of hoping it? " returned Loo, in her dreary 
way — a manner which was a youthful reflection of her grand- 
mother's. " I used to hope it when I was six years old, but I 
left off before I was seven ; and now I'm nearly nineteen, and 
I'm not much nearer seeing the last of Voysey-street." 

"Not much nearer, so far as you know at this precise 
moment," argued Walter cheerily ; " but the possibilities of 
youth are infinite. Cinderella's carriage and Cinderella's god- 
mother may be waiting round the corner for you. And now, 
Mrs. Gurner, as it's on the stroke of midnight, and I'm afraid 
I've been keeping you up, I'll say good-night." The elder lady's 
glance had wandered towards the press-bedstead lately, yearn- 
ingly. " But before departing I've a favour to ask you." 

The favour was Mrs. Gurner's consent to her granddaughter's 
sitting for Lamia; a request which the lady, although in the 
last stage of sleepiness, received with befitting dignity. 

"Laminia!" she repeated; "I never heard of the young 
person. A historical character, I suppose ? " 

" No, not exactly historical ; a character belonging to fable 
and poetry." 

" A respectable young person, I presume ? I couldn't think 
of my granddaughter sitting for any young person who was not 
a strictly correct character." 

" Lor, grandma," said Loo, with a shrug, " as if it mattered 
in a picture ! And as if anybody who saw the picture would 
know me ! " 

" There are plenty in Voysey-street who would know you, 
and even round the corner," answered the grandmother 
solemnly. 

Walter, hard driven, and not feeling quite prepared to vouch 
for Lamia's unblemished respectability, argued that a fabulous 
young person was hardly subject to the laws that govern mo- 
dern society; and that, moreover, perhaps very few people 
among those who paid their shilling to see the picture would 
have a very clear idea of Lamia's antecedents or moral character. 

" There's something in that," replied Mrs. Gurner. " I have 
read a good deal of history in my lifetime, but I never came 
across this Laminia of yours." 

Thus, after a little farther argument, to give due importance 
to the question, Mrs. Gurner expressed her willingness that the 
painter should bring his canvas and colours next day, and begin 
his portrait of the sullen-looking damsel coiled up in the big 
arm-chair, who evinced no personal interest in the subject. 



66 ±iOst jor Xtove. 



CHAPTEE VII. 

" I am toueh'd again with shades of early sadness, 
Like the summer cloud's light shadow in my hair; 
I am thrilled again with breaths of boyish gladness, 
Like the seent of some last primrose on the air. 

But my being is confused with new experience, 
And changed to something other than it was ; 

And the Future with the Past is set at variance, 
And Life falters 'neath the burdens which it has." 

Aftee that quiet dinner in Fitzroy-square, at which he made 
the acquaintance of Mr. Leyburne, Dr. Ollivant dropped in now 
and then, in a familiar way, to see his old friend — indeed, in his 
brief and infrequent intervals of leisure, and even at times 
when, but for this new distraction, he would have given his 
hours to study, the doctor found himself drawn, as it were, 
involuntarily towards Mr. Chamney's house. Mrs. Ollivant 
perceived that the precious after-dinner hour in which she had 
enjoyed her son's society was now apt to be clipped and cur- 
tailed, for no stronger reason than that he had promised to go 
round to Chamney's. His mother felt this spoliation of her one 
bright hour. That after-dinner t&te-a-tete by the drawing-room 
fire had been her daily sum of happiness. No matter even if he 
were sometimes silent and meditative, gazing into the fire, absorb- 
ed by thoughts unshared with her. It was all the world to have 
him — to be able to watch the thoughtful face, and say to herself, 
" This great man is my son." Now she was being gradually shorn 
of her privilege ; the after-dinner hour was shrunken to half an 
hour, for, on the evenings on which he did not go out, he was 
anxious to get to his books a little earlier than of old, in order 
to make up, in some wise, for the evenings he gave to friendship. 

" I should hardly have thought Mr. Chamney's society would 
have proved so attractive to you, Cuthbert," Mrs. Ollivant said 
one evening, when the doctor excused himself from going up- 
stairs to the drawing-room at all, in order to go straight from 
the dinner-table to Fitzroy-square. " He appears to me a warm- 
hearted excellent man, but by no means intellectual, and I should 
have supposed him a dull companion for a mind like yours." 

A dusky red glowed for a minute or so in the doctor's dark 
cheek as he lingered on the hearth, ostensibly to warm himself, 
really because he felt a little ashamed of his unfilial eagerness 
to be gone. 

" I don't go to him exactly for companionship," he said, 
looking at the fire with that thoughtful downward glance of 
his, as of a man who lives within himself, and is always looking 



Lost for Lov* 67 

inwards rather than outwards ; whose eyes, except for the mere 
mechanical purposes of existence, are of no particular use to 
him. " I go because Ohamney likes to see me. He is a poor 
creature, without a friend in England, and would feel — what is 
that Scotch proverb ? — like a cow in a fremd loaning if it were 
not for me." 

" He has his daughter's company, and that young man to 
whom he has taken such a fancy." 

" The young man can only talk about pictures and sing duets 
with Flora ; not much amusement for Chamney. Besides, my 
visits are in some part professional." 

" Is he so very ill ? " 

Dr, Ollivant shrugged his shoulders. 

"He is very far from being well, and there is no hope of his 
ever being better. The end may come at any moment. I want 
to stave it off as long as I can." 

"I can't blame you for wishing to do that, Cuthbert; and I 
won't grumble any more even if your anxiety about Mr. Cham- 
ney robs me of your society very often. Perhaps I was just 
a little inclined to be jealous, for I thought it might be the 
young lady that was the attraction. She's a sweet girl, and 
I'm very fond of her, as you know ; but I should like to see you 
look higher than that if ever you marry." 

" Higher ? How much higher ? " he thought wonderingly. 
For something better than youth, and freshness, and inno- 
cence, and a modest loveliness that was better than all the 
splendour of form and colour that ever went by the name of 
beauty ? 

" I am not at all likely to marry, my dear mother," he 
answered quietly ; " and Flora would as soon think of marrying 
the chemist who makes up my prescriptions as me. In her 
eyes I am a superannuated bachelor. Good-night, mother. 
Pray don't sit up for me. I shall go to my room and read 
when I come in." 

Thus, between friendship and science, Dr. Ollivant fell some- 
thing below his former excellence as a son. 

It would have been difficult for any one familiar with his 
previous way of life to discover what was the attraction that 
drew him to Fitzroy-square. He was not particularly fond of 
music or of painting ; yet music and painting formed the staple 
of the talk when "Walter Leyburne happened to be spending his 
evening with the Chamneys, and the doctor rarely found him 
absent. He listened with sublime patience to Mozart and 
Rossini, Verdi and Donizetti, hardly knowing one master's 
work from the other all the while. He watched the two figures 
at the piano just as had done that first night. He assisted at 
the exhibition of Flora's drawings— she u ° n , u v working 



68 Lost for Love. 

systematically under Mr. Leyburne's tuition — and pronounced 
upon the correct drawing of an arm, or the accurate foreshorten- 
ing of a foot, and demonstrated to the docile pupil how foot 
or arm diverged from the laws of anatomy, Dull work enough, 
it might have been supposed, for a man to whom the best 
society to be obtained among professional classes would have 
been open, had he cared to cultivate society. 

It had become a natural thing for him to drop in twice or 
three times a week, and Flora had grown delightfully familiar 
with him, yet had never put off that somewhat reverential feeling 
with which a woman of romantic temperament regards a man 
who is at once her superior in age and intellect. Let him come 
as often as he pleased, her manner always implied that his visit 
was a condescension. Let his conversation be of the driest 
subjects within the range of his knowledge, she betrayed no 
touch of weariness. He perceived this, and was charmed by it, 
yet knew only too well that her heart had its attraction else- 
where ; that a certain light quick step upon the stair sent the 
warm blood to her happy face ; the sudden opening of a door 
and announcement of one familiar name brightened all her 
being like a burst of sunshine over a flower-garden. He saw 
all this, and watched it, and at times taught himself to believe 
that it interested him only as an amusing study of character ; 
that he could look down from the altitude of his maturer years 
upon these butterfly loves, and, if unable to sympathize with 
so light a love, could at least feel kindly towards the lovers. 

Was it not, he asked himself repeatedly, the best thing that 
could happen in his interest? Let Mark Chamney give his 
daughter to this foolish young painter before he died, and, lo, 
all responsibility would be shifted from his shoulders. He 
might act as her trustee still, perhaps ; take care of her fortune ; 
and see that this careless fellow did not, after squandering his 
own worldly goods, despoil her of hers. But of herself, of this 
fair young flower which in its delicate bloom seemed like a bud 
that had blossomed only to wither, he need take no care. Of 
a charge so uncongenial to his nature and his habits he would 
be relieved. Yes, it would be to his advantage unquestionably 
that this love story, just begun, should come to a happy ending. 

Yet it was worth while to glance for a moment at the other 
side of the picture. If poor dear Chamney, on whom the hand 
of doom was too palpable, should die without expressing any 
wish about his daughter's marriage — die before the boy-and-girl 
fancy had grown into a life-long love — die before Flora's heart 
Iras altogether given to this shallow lover — what then ? She 
frould be his ward. His the precious charge of her present and 
ner future. His to advise, to dictate to even, were she inclined 
to any act of girlish folly that might imperil her happiness. 



±,ost jor JLove. 69 

She would enter his house as an adopted daughter. He could 

Eicture to himself how her presence would brighten that dull 
ome ; could fancy himself finding a new pleasure in home life. 
The fair young face smiling at him across his dinner-table. The 
sweet voice singing in the quiet evenings. He had no need to 
be a lover of music in order to love her singing. If she had 
spun, the sound of her spinning-wheel would have been melody 
to him. He thought how he might improve her education, 
which was of the common boarding-school type, and enlarge 
her mind. How his own old love of poetry, put aside on the 
very threshold of his scientific education — the younger and 
more romantic tastes and fancies of his boyhood — might revive 
in this Indian summer of his life. 

Not all at once did these fancies become interwoven with the 
very tissue of his mind, until to look at Flora's gentle face was 
to speculate upon the position he was to occupy towards her 
in that unknown future — whether she was to be his ward or 
Walter Leyburne's wife ! Gradually and imperceptibly this new 
and strange influence entered into his life, changed the whole 
current of his thoughts, and, but for his natural strength of 
will, must needs have distracted him from the chiet purpose 
of his existence — that calm and patient pursuit of science 
which was to lead him on to greatness. Happily he had 
mental force enough to supply two lives — that inner life in 
which a girl's image made the focus and centre of every 
thought, and the outer and active life in which he marched 
side by side with the deepest thinkers of his profession. 

The dull winter days went by, slowly the fog-curtains rolled 
away from the house-tops, and London, which had been a kind 
of cloudland, where cabs and omnibuses loomed ghostlike 
athwart the gloom, stood forth clearly outlined in the bitter- 
east wind. This the cheerful citizens called spring, and con- 
gratulated one another upon the lengthening of days ; in which-, 
every street-corner teemed with the primal elements of rheu- 
matism and tic-douloureux. 

Thus heralded came April, and found the Fitzroy-square 
household unchanged in its quiet mode of life, and waiting for ■ 
warmer weather before essaying even so mild a change as a 
journey to some sea-coast or inland watering-place. Mark 
Chamney had, to the doctor's keen eye, altered for the worse 
during these months. He was less equal even to the small 
exertions of his daily life, suffered more front langtwx fatd 
depression, took a more gloomy view of hia own case, and 
was more oppressed by vague anxieties about his daughter's 
future. But from his daughter herself he studiously con- 
cealed his condition, pretended in her presence to look hopefully 
at life, and in his unselfish soul was glad to find there was 



70 



jjosi jor jjovc 



another object now to divide with him her care and thought, 
another footstep for her quick ear to mark, another voice to 
bring the startled happy look he knew so well into her face. 
Pure and serene affection of a father which can thus calmly 
endure division! That very look was keenest anguish to Dr. 
Ollivant. 

For nearly five months the painter had been a constant 
visitor in Mr. Ohamney's house, and in all that time neither 
Mr. Chamney nor the doctor had been able to discover any 
harm in him, though the doctor's eye had been keen to mark 
any sign of stumbling. If he were, indeed, as the doctor 
affirmed, shallow and conceited, his shallowness was sparkling 
as the surface of a rivulet, his conceit the • most inoffensive 
self-satisfaction that ever placed a man on easy terms with 
his fellow men. He was indeed a young man upon whom 
even small vices sat pleasantly. Carelessness, procrastination, 
frivolity, seemed interwoven with the charm of his vivacious 
manner. His carelessness was a kind of unselfishness, his 
procrastination a deferring of disagreeable necessities, his 
frivolity the natural outcome of a light heart. Mark Chamney, 
no habitual student of character, had taken some pains to 
study the painter's disposition, and after five months' intimacy 
had arrived at the opinion that it was a nature without a flaw. 

" If he were my own son I could hardly think better of him," 
he said to the doctor one evening, when the usual Mozart and 
Rossini business was going on at the piano. 

" People do not always think highly of their own sons," 
answered Cuthbert, with his cynical air ; " you don't commit 
yourself to much in saying that." 

" Why do you always sneer when I talk about him ? " asked 
the other fretfully. " It's rather hard upon me, Ollivant, when 
you know what I've set my heart upon. Have you anything 
to allege against him ? " 

" Nothing. He is very well, as young men go, I have no 
doubt; only, I have seen so little of the species, that I am 
hardly in a position to pronounce on the individual. If you 
put the thing home to me as a personal matter, I don't like 
young men; but as youth is an obnoxious phase through 
which humanity must pass, one is bound to be tolerant towards 
it. In a woman, now, I confess, youth is enchanting; like a 
rosebud when its petals are just opening, or a river a little way 
from its source. But a young man is like a young tree; an 
awkward slip of a sapling, in which it is hard to discover the 
promise of the oak. And as to what you have set your heart 
upon, as you say, now don't you think it might be wiser to let 
events shape their own course ? " 

" Wiser, perhaps," answered the other gloomily, " for a father 



Lost for Love. 71 

who had half a lifetime before him. I can't afford to let things 
take their course. I want to see my little girl's future settled, 
before-—" 

He did not finish a sentence which for his medical adviser 
needed no ending. 

" When you came to me that November night, Chamney, 
and we had our first confidential talk, you said nothing of a 
husband; you seemed content to leave your daughter to my 
care. Have I done anything to show myself unworthy of the 
trust ? " 

" You, my dear Ollivant ! " exclaimed Mark hurriedly. " For 
God's sake don't think me ungrateful ! I am content to trust 
her to you ; yes, with all my heart, as secure that you would 
do your duty to her as that I would do a father's duty myself. 
There has never been anything to weaken that first idea in my 
mind. When I saw your name in the newspapers, and thought 
over our schoolboy friendship, the notion that came into my 
head about you seemed like an inspiration ; only when I came 
across this young man, and brought him here, and he and Baby 
seemed to take to each other — she so fond of painting, their 
voices harmonizing, and so forth — another notion flashed across 
my brain, like another inspiration. You could still be her 
trustee, my representative when I am gone ; but if I could pro- 
vide her with a husband — a husband of her own choice, mind 
you, not mine — the idea would be in a manner completed." 

" I daresay you are right," Dr. Ollivant answered rather 
listlessly, as if the discussion had outlasted his interest in 
the subject. " The only question, therefore, that remains is 
whether the young man is eligible." 

They said no more that evening. Mr. Leyburne and Flora 
left the piano very soon after this, and came to join their elders 
in the back drawing-room, whereby the conversation becai^ 
general. Walter favoured them with a description of the works 
of various " ineptitudes " whose pictures had been admitted to 
the walls of the Eoyal Academy, tossed over the books upon 
Flora's table, and talked a little of literature in the usual young- 
man style; pronouncing judgment upon hoary-headed sages, 
and patronizing veterans, with ineffable superiority. Dr. Olli- 
vant, who was apt to grow silent when the painter talked, 
looked and listened, and anon departed, after his usual calm 
good-night. 

" I lose all your nice conversation when I am singing," Flora 
said, with a regretful look, as she shook hands with him at 
parting ; " but, you see, we are obliged to keep up our duets. It 
would be such a pity to get out of practice when we have once 
learned them together. But I do like to hear you talk, Dr. 
Ollivant, and I enjoy your visits most when we are quite alone." 



72 jjost for Love. 

" If you could be always quite alone," said the doctor. 

" 0, you know very well, I don't mean that. Mr. Leyburne 
is so nice, and has given me such help in my drawing ; I can 
never be grateful enough for that. He has let me go into sepia 
at last ; such a relief after that dirty chalk ! Please come to 
see us very soon again. Good-night ! " 

So lightly dismissed ! Eewarded for all his wasted hours — 
the leisure which to him was the fine) gold of life — with a touch 
of girlish patronage ; told that his grave talk was not altogether 
unamusing, in the absence of better entertainment. He walked 
homeward in the clear April night, the house-tops beautified by 
the star-shine, but, when near the long dull street in which he 
lived, went off at a tangent in the direction of Regent's Park. 
He was in no humour for the tranquil silence of his library — 
for the study that until so lately had made the brightest side of 
his life. He felt as if the close dark house with its narrow 
walls would be intolerable to him. He wanted to think out 
something in the free air of heaven, to walk down the evil spirit 
within him ; that evil fatal spirit which tempted him to brood 
upon Flora's fair young face with a fond foolish passion, senile 
almost as it seemed to him, who at eight-and-thirty had lived a 
longer life than the common herd of men — longer in labour and 
science, perhaps, but in passion until now a blank. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

"O father, what a hell of witchcraft lies 
In the email orb of one particular tear ! 
But with the inundation of the eyes, 

What rocky heart to water will not wear f 
What breast so cold that is not warmed her* I" 

The Lamia picture had made due progress during the winter 
and spring, and, as it is almost impossible to paint a young 
woman's portrait without arriving at some degree of intimacy 
with the woman herself, Louisa Gurner and Walter Leyburne 
had by this time — while spring was still young and bleak and 
cold — become something more than common acquaintance. 

Walter had worked harder than usual at this picture, and 
had been more constant to his first idea than he was wont to 
be. It was the first meeting of Lycius and Lamia, " about a 



Lost for Love. 73 

bird's flutter from the wood " near Corinth, that he had ulti- 
mately chosen for his subject — a dreamy landscape dimly shone 
in the mystic twilight, and only those two figures, youth and 
passion incarnate. 

During the few sittings he had found his model curiously 
silent and shy, and had even begun to think she must be, as her 
father had hinted, a dull and stupid young person at best. She 
had been obedient and submissive to his orders; had stood 
patiently in the attitude in which he placed her; had nevei 
yawned, or shifted from one foot to the other, throwing every 
line of the figure wrong in an instant, as hireling modeli were 
apt to do. But for some time his little attempts at conversa- 
tion, prompted by civility or even kindness, had been futile. lie 
could obtain nothing more than monosyllabic replies or the 
most commonplace little remarks, which sounded like a mere 
echo of Mrs. Gurner. 

Yet he could hardly bring himself to believe her utterly 
stupid. Those great dark eyes, which he strove to reproduce 
upon his canvas, had at times such a look of depth, as though 
unfathomable wells of thought and feeling lay beneath their 
shining surface; those lips had grave and pathetic curves, 
which he would have chosen for his type of passion and sorrow 
from all the lips in creation. Yes, there must be a soul lurking 
in this neglected form — a soul of wider capabilities than com- 
mon souls — a mind that lacked only the light of education. 
He had not spent three mornings at his new picture before a 
new idea flashed into his busy brain. What a glorious thing it 
would be to illumine the outer darkness in which this poor 
child lived — to redeem this imprisoned soul from its bondage — 
or, in plain words, to educate Jarred Gurner's daughter ! 

If the picture were to be a success, now, it would be a 
generous and appropriate act to make the girl some worthy 
recompense for her trouble. He would owe half his fame to her 

Eeculiar beauty. He might never have thought of his subject 
ad not her face put the Lamia fancy into his head. What 
recompense could be better for her than three or four years in a 
good school ? She had talked despairingly of Voysey-street as 
a world from which she saw no avenue of escape. To place he? 
in some pleasant suburban seminary — such an establishment as 
that of Miss Mayduke's, of whom Flora was so fond of talking 
— would be to rescue her at once from her sordid surroundings, 
to lift her out of the kennel in which she had grovelled so long. 
And afterwards, when her education and his patronage ended 
together? Why, then her future would be in a manner in her 
own hands. A woman with a good education may do so many 
things. She may turn governess or companion — there is of 
course a perennial demand for either article — or she may go in 



74 



jjost jor jjove. 



for book-keeping, and earn a handsome living in some com- 
mercial establishment. 

" Yes,'" said the painter to himself, as decisively as if he had 
sworn to do ihis thing, ** "jf the Lamia is a success, I will give 
Loo «hree years at a good boarding-school." 

It was a mere fancy of his to make the benefit contingent on 
the future of his picture, since he could have very well afforded 
to do this good work. A young man of simple habits and an 
income of three thousand a year has ample margin for bene- 
volence; but an unsuccessful man is apt to feel churlishly 
disposed towards his fellow creatures, and Walter Leyburne felt 
that if the picture were a failure, his model's welfare would be 
a matter of small importance to him. 

In the mean time, however, he found some amusement in 
educating the young lady himself, not according to any system 
or educational process known to trained instructors, but in that 
desultory and fragmentary mode in which the teacher follows 
the bent of his own mind, and seeks first of all his own 
amusement. 

After three or four sittings Loo had brightened wonderfully ; 
the shy restrained manner wore off. She ceased to torment 
herself with an angry feeling that this spoiled child of fortune 
must needs despise herself and all her surroundings ; that he 
was only civil to her out of a scornful pity ; that he deemed her 
of a different clay from that young lady of whom he had 
Bpoken with such loving admiration. He was so thoroughly 
kind that her rebellious heart could not long hold out against 
him. Her face lighted up at sight of him. Those days in 
which he spent all the lightest hours in her father's room — they 
two alone together for the most part — became intervals of 
happiness. It was quite a new feeling to her. Her only idea of 
pleasure until now had been to sit on the fender while her father 
worked or smoked, in those rare intervals of indulgence when 
this privilege was permitted to her ; but even these glimpses of 
sunshine were apt to end in storm and darkness. Something 
would go wrong about the supper, or he would receive an un- 
pleasant letter, or a call from some one to whom he owed money, 
and in any case would vent his ill-temper upon her. Walter 
Leyburne was kinder than her father at his kindest, and was 
never ill-tempered. 

Little by little she contrved to make some slight amendment 
in her appearance. Her hair was better brushed, and neatly 
arranged in that classic style which the painter had taught her ; 
the old green stuff gown was more carefully mended. She had 
an object in life, and grudged no labour to make herself decent. 
She nad tried to extort a gown from her grandmother's generosity, 
a gown out of the stock ; but the old lady was adamant. 



jsosi jor juove. 75 

" If I once allowed the stock to be tampered with, I should 
never know where I was," she said. " The business would go to 
pieces in no time. I must have a good show of variety — some- 
thing to catch every eye. There's that plum-coloured satin, for 
instance; it's very slow to sell, but I've had a good bit of 
money out of that gown from first to last. Young women 
come in and look at it, and make a bargain about it, and agree 
to buy it by weekly instalments, and leave a deposit of half-a- 
crown or eighteenpence, and never come nigh the place again. 
Change their minds, I suppose, or find it's beyond their means- 
One middle-aged lady, in the public line, paid me six instal* 
ments as regular as clockwork, and after that never come anigh 
me. Such is the fickleness of human nature. No, Louisa, I 
■will never consent to tamper with the stock. If you won't do 
for Laminia in your green merino, which must have cost seven' 
and-sixpence a yard when it was new " 

"I daresay it did, grandma; for that must have been wherj 
merinoes were first invented." 

" He can go elsewhere and paint some other young woman, 
and pay her for her trouble, which he doesn't you," continued 
Mrs. Gurner, without noticing the pert interruption- 

" If he doesn't pay me, grandma, he pays father plenty of 
money." 

"That's as may be. J don't often see the colour of it. 
There's half a dozen rates on the chimney-piece ; and if we've 
water for our tea this very afternoon, it's more than I expect ; 
for the collector threatened to cut it off three weeks ago." 

Though the sittings took place in Mr. Gurner's room, that 
gentleman was rarely present. He had made it a point that 
the thing should be done under his own roof — that his daughter 
in her dealings with this stranger should be, as it were, guarded 
by the asgis of his parental character, surrounded with the 
sacred influences of the domestic hearth ; and having secured 
this point, he appeared somewhat indifferent to details. He 
was by nature an idler and a loafer, and so long as the sting of 
the foul serpent, poverty, pierced not too keenly, he would take 
his ease — preferring to roam the world at random in pursuit of 
stray gleams of good luck, to toiling at home at the slow 
drudgery of his art. Thus it happened that the painter and his 
model had the shabby first-floor front for the most part to 
themselves, and Walter had ample leisure for that educational 
process to which his fancy inclined. Mrs. Gurner, always a 
stickler for the observance of social laws as understood in the 
unwritten code of Voysey-street, did occasionally interrupt the 
sitting by a stately visit, begging to be allowed to see the picture, 
and favouring the painter with her ideas upon his particular 
work, and art in general. 



76 Lost for Love. 

" Give me the old masters, Mr. Leyburne," she would remark 
in conclusion, " without meaning any disrepect to you ; for I 
make no doubt when Laminia comes out a little clearer, the 
picture will be very taking. But don't tell me about your 
Millisses, and your Belmores, and your 'Olman'Unts. Give me 
the old masters. Look at the tone and the mellowness of 'em, 
everything subdued down into a beautiful rich brown, and as 
smooth as a mahogany table. Why, if you put your nose 
against one of them Millisses it's as rough as a gravel path, all 
the paint laid on in splotches and ridges, as if it had been 
painted with a curry-comb. Give me a Bembren, or a Vandilk; 
there's as fine a tone in one of their Holy Families as in a Stra- 
divarius violin." 

To such art-criticism as this Mr. Leyburne could only defer 
in all humility. 

" I have unbounded respect for the old masters," he said ; 
"Rubens and Vandyke were giants. Yes, Mrs. Gurner, the 
old masters were fine fellows. Even Sir Joshua was knocked 
backwards by them. He saw something in the Italian school 
that modern art — even his — could never compass." 

Mrs. Gurner's visit generally ended in a luncheon, respectfully 
suggested and paid for by the painter. He would run across to 
the fish-shop and order a liberal supply of oysters, adding thereto 
a handsome allowance of Edinburgh ale from the handiest public- 
house ; and in ten minutes or so Jarred' s table woiild be cleared 
of its litter of papers and glue-pots and brushes and files and 
gimlets, and a gipsy kind of repast spread thereon. Loo, with 
that new-born instinct of hers tending towards order, contrived 
that there should always be a clean tablecloth ready on these 
occasions, even though she had to wash it in a handbasin at 
midnight after her father's supper. 

Mr. Leyburne derived a curious kind of enjoyment from these 
gipsy meals — a pleasure keener than, if not so pure as, that 
which he felt in the Fitzroy-square dinners. Outspoken as he 
might be in Miss Chamney's presence, having at no time any 
evil thought to conceal, any cloven foot to cover with the 
drapery of polite language, his soul expanded yet more fully 
here, and Self, that agreeable creature, stood boldly forth in 
its brightest colours. He knew that he was admired, that 
Louisa believed in him as an African believes in his fetish. 
Little words, little looks, unconscious of their own force and 
meaning, had revealed as much as this, and the young man 
enjoyed the sunshine, without after-thought for himself or any 
one. He had never in his life had an after- thought. He was, 
indeed, serene in the consciousness of benevolent intentions to- 
wards this poor foolish child; that idea of the boarding-school 
Bhut the door upon every anxious thought. Let her worship 



j^ost jor MiOve. 77 

him a little, if she liked, in the present ; the worship had already 
lent a new refinement to her manner, a spirituality to her 
strangely handsome face. She was being educated in the best 
possible school for a woman's progress — a school in which 
sentiment and sympathy eked out the words of the teacher. 

Even Mrs. Gurner's presence at these gipsy banquets took 
nothing from their pleasantness. She was not perhaps the 
companion whom one would have selected for a tete-a-tete 
repast ; but as a third the painter found her an agreeable study 
of character. She made odd remarks of the Malaprop order — 
warmed a little with the influence of bottled ale, and cast off 
that heavy burden of misery which she was wont to carry 
through life. She philosophised upon life— as a maze whereof 
the devious turnings, and windings, and unexpected no-thorough- 
fares had sorely perplexed her spirit. She discoursed of her 
own past — those natural hopes and expectations of a well- 
brought-up young woman which after-experience had disap- 
pointed. But of that bygone period she spoke always vaguely; 
and the status she had originally held, and the causes of her 
downfall, were alike unrevealed to the painter. Even in the 
most confidential moments, made garrulous with ale and oysters, 
she never descended from the cloudland of generalities to the 
solid ground of particulars. 

" Life is an enigma, Mr. Leyburne," she remarked one day, 
with a faint moan. 

" Life, madam," replied the painter, who always affected a 
certain ceremoniousness in his converse with the lady, — "life 
has been compared to a froward child, which must be rocked 
in its cradle, or narcotised with Daffy's Elixir till it falls asleep; 
a comparison, oddly enough, to be found verbatim in the works 
of three distinguished writers — Sir "William Temple, Yoltaire, 
and Goldsmith." 

" Ah," said the matron sententiously, " there are some chil- 
dren that don't get Daffy's Elixir. It's all vaccination, and 
measles, and rhubarb-powders for some of us." 

" There, grandma," exclaimed Loo, with a shrug of her slim 
shoulders, " don't be dreary ; Mr. Leyburne doesn't come here 
for dreariness." 

"It's all very well at your age, Louisa," answered Mrs. 
Gurner, with chilling dignity ; " but when you come to my 
time of life " 

" Which I'm sure I hope I never shall, grandma, if I'm to 
come to it in Voysey-street." 

" You would have fallen a good deal lower in the world but 
for me, Louisa. The ladies'-wardrobe business was my idea. 
Your father wouldn't have cared if we'd sunk to chandlery and 
Neville's bread." 



78 Lost for Love. 

" I should have liked the chandlery better, for my part," re- 
plied the incorrigible damsel. "The trade would have been 
brisk, at any rate. I'd rather sell tea, and sugar, and candles, 
and Neville's bread, and spiced beef, any day than dawdle over 
old gowns and moth-eaten furs that nobody ever seems to want 
to buy. Yes, even if I had to serve all the small children in the 
neighbourhood with ha'porths of sugar-candy." 

Mrs. Gurner shook her head with the shake of calm despair. 

" To think that such low instincts should crop up in a child 
of mine," she said, " after the trouble I took to fix upon a genteel 
business — no counter, no scales and weights, nothing humbling 
to the feelings." 

" No ; and no till and no profits, mostly ! " answered Loo. 

Those gipsy banquets, however, delightful as they might be, 
were not quite the sweetest hours of Loo's new life. It was 
when the painter and she were alone together that she knew 
perfect happiness — a rapture of content so strange in its utter 
novelty. His talk was no longer mere civility, or frivolous 
commonplace, intended to set her at her ease with him. He 
talked to her now as if she were on an intellectual level with 
himself; opened his heart and mind ; told his hopes, and dreams, 
and fears ; the story of his past ; the scheme of his future ; all 
his wildest fancies, which shifted like the figures in a kaleido- 
scope, but with far more variety of form and colour, and which 
never repeated themselves. He would talk to her as he had 
never ventured to talk to Flora — with a certain Bohemian reck- 
lessness, but no shadow of evil thought. He was, in fact, not 
particularly anxious to retain her good opinion, as he was with 
regard to Flora, and he let her see odd corners in his mind, 
whi< i, despite his habitual candour, he had kept hidden from 
the "oung lady in Fitzroy-square. Flora was to be his wife 
som ■ day ; he looked upon that as a settled question, and she 
had therefore something of a sacred character in his mind. Not 
to her could he pour out his mind in all its fulness, as he could 
to Lis quick-witted young woman in Voysey-street ; who, by 
reason of her early-acquired knowledge of life's darker side, 
seimed to be ten years older than Mark Chamney's daughter. 
When he fancied that she was tired of standing, though he 
could never extort a complaint from her, or even an admission 
of weariness, he would suspend his work for a little while, being 
perhaps somewhat tifced himself, and read to her. He took some 
pride in his reading, and read well, in a passionate impetuous 
way. This began by his reading Lamia, so that she might 
understand the story of which she was the heroine. The vivid 
passionate verse, so new to her unaccustomed ears, seemed like 
•anchantment. Her own reading had lain chiefly in the direction 
of penny numbers — pirates and bandit chiefs, and gipsy maidens, 



Lost for Love. 79 

and tout le tremilement. This first glimpse of real poetry — all 
glow, and grace, and beauty — moved her curiously. It was then 
that all semblance of stupidity disappeared, and Walter Ley- 
burne discovered that his surmise had been correct. Those 
broad temples were the indication of a powerful mind ; a mind 
hid in darkness, but with infinite capacity. He had that happy 
thought about the boarding-school at once, and determined to 
educate her, for her profit and his own amusement meanwhile. 
He read her the whole of Keats ; and then, finding her delight 
unabated, her hunger for eloquent verse onlv whetted, he opened 
the vast treasure-house of Shakespeare. 1J e began with Romeo 
and Juliet, which entranced her. Hamlet she thought dull : 
the Midsummer-Night' s Dream silly, except the scenes between 
Hermia and Helena. She warmed to Othello, and wept at the 
overthrow of that heroic soul. Macbeth was like a vision of a 
strange world, a region of passions grander than she had ever 
dreamed of, and she followed every fine of those vivid pictures 
with intensest appreciation. No young woman who had been 
spoon fed with " Gems of Shakespeare " at school could have 
warmed to that mighty voice as she did, to whom the whole was 
new. It seemed to her as if she had only just begun to live ; or 
had emerged from some dark antechamber of the earth into 
fairy-land. What did Voysey-street matter to her now ? One 
street was as good as another to live in if she could have such 
a book as that to read, and such a friend as Mr. Leyburne to 
guide her in this new world of light, and life, and poetry. 

He let her revel in Shakespeare till she knew all the great 
tragedies, and then called up another and younger spirit. 

" Shakespeare is too heavy for my humour this morning," he 
said one day, and produced a neat little morocco-bound volume 
from his pocket, which he opened thoughtfully, and anon took 
two or three turns up and down the room before he began to 
read. 

He read, or in part recited, the whole of the Giaour, without 
pausing for a word of criticism. It was his masterpiece in the 
way of recitation, and he put his heart into every line. When 
he stood motionless, with downward-bending eyes, and began 
those thrilling lines : 

" He who hath bent him o'er the dead," 

the girl's rapture broke forth in a passionate sob, but was ar 
suddenly stifled, and she listened calmly to the end. 

" That isn't Shakespeare," she said. 

" No." 

"Nor Keats." 

" No. I'm glad you begin to discriminate the differences of 
utyle." 



80 jjost jor ljove. 

" I didn't think that human beings could write like that,* 
said the girl with a gasp. " Where is he — the man that wrote 
about Leila ? " 

"Why?" 

" Because I should like to go to him, and kneel down before 
him, and ask leave to worship him." 

" Rather a foolish proceeding, if he were alive," answered Mr. 
Leyburne ; " but you may go and worship at his grave. He is 
dead." 

Loo burst out crying. The nerves, unstrung by those divine 
verses, gave way at the thought that he who penned them was 
dust. 

" I shall never read you anything of Byron's again," said Mr. 
Leyburne severely. 

" What ! Did he write more than that ? " 

" Much more." 

" 0, but you will read the rest, won't you P " 

" When your nerves are stronger." 

He brought a volume of Milton at the next sitting, but Loo 
looked tired after the first page of Paradise Lost, and confessed 
her indifference. She liked the " Hymn of the Nativity," how- 
ever, though the classic names in it mystified her. The strong 
music pleased her keen ear for numbers. 

Thus her education progressed with the picture. Mr. Ley- 
burne left her his books to read at her leisure, a period only to 
be found after midnight ; and she sat up into the small hours, 
when Mrs. Gurner was calmly reposing in the press-bedstead, 
and aroused that careful housewife's ire by an undue consump- 
tion of candle. 

An education such as this — the world of poetry suddenly un- 
veiled to an intelligence sharpened by privation and the bitter 
experiences of Voysey-street — effected a strangely rapid trans- 
formation in this ardent undisciplined nature. This girl's 
mind was empty of all those objects which distract the atten- 
tion, or even absorb the mind, of the happier portion of woman- 
kind. Dress, pleasure, society, had for her no existence. Half 
the dreariness of her past life had arisen from the fact that, 
except cares and troubles, she had nothing to think of. Her 
mind was a virgin soil, ripe to receive the new seed that fell 
upon it — the seed of grand thoughts and of melodious versea 
full of deep meaning. To few other young women of nineteen 
could Shakespeare and Byron mean so much as they meant to 
this girl. She knew no bright visions outside those books. Her 
only knowledge of nature was derived from Regent's-park and 
Primrose-hill, and rare had been her glimpses even of those un- 
remote landscapes. She had spent a summer afternoon once on 
Hampstead-heath on the occasion of a school-treat ; but that 



Lost for Love. 81 

blissful day was long gone by, and the rural scene had faded 
from her memory behind the mist of years. Yet, by that normal 
clairvoyance of the imagination which Lord Lytton has described 
in one of his exquisite essays, she beheld the snow-clad mountains 
where Manfred held commune with the spirit-world, the old 
Italian garden where Romeo and Juliet wooed each other in the 
starlight. 

By some gradual process, which he perhaps could hardly 
have explained to himself, the painter extended his hours of 
work in Voysey-street. There were days when he was not in 
the vein of the Lamia picture, and a young man with three 
thousand a year in perpetuity will hardly labour against the 
grain, having no need to produce pot-boilers. So on these off- 
days he would put his patient model into some new attitude, 
and begin a single-figure picture — Imogen, or Olivia, or Juliet, 
or the Dorothea of Cervantes, or Joan of Arc, as caprice 
prompted, the model caring nothing, so long as she had his 
company. 

It is possible that Mrs. Gurner would have hardly tolerated 
eo much waste of her granddaughter's time but for those social 
luncheons, which served the two women for dinners, and also 
on account of the more substantial aid afforded the small 
household by Mr. Leyburne's employment of Jarred as a pic- 
ture-restorer. 

" He's the best customer I've got," said Jarred to his parent ; 
" so mind you're civil to him, old lady. I'm not sorry he's 
taken so to Loo, for she's improved ever so much since she 
began to sit to him. Keeps her hair tidier, and mends her 
gown. And after all — though he might be sweet upon the 
other one to begin with — who knows what may happen ? Men's 
minds are changeable enough at the best of times, or there 
wouldn't be so many breach-of- promise cases in the news- 
papers." 

" Perhaps not, Jarred," sighed Mrs. Gurner ; " but the 
breachers — I mean those who break their promise — generally 
throw over a poor girl to marry a rich one. ' Shortly after 
writing these beautiful letters, full of affection and quotations 
from Scripture, the defendant married another lady with pro- 
perty.' That's how it goes in the newspapers. There's 
generally property with the second lady. I never saw a case 
where it was a rich girl left in the lurch for the sake of a poor 
one." 

" Because rich girls don't demean themselves by bringing 
actions,'' answered Jarred; " they've got the knowledge of their 
independence to sustain them, and they're above the considera- 
tion of damages." 

" It may be bo, Jarred ; but experience has taught me to look 



82 Lost for Love. 

at the dark side of the picture. I wouldn't allow Mr. Leyburne 
to come near the place if I thought there was any harm in him ; 
but from what I've seen of him the babe unborn isn't more 
innocent." 

Influenced, it may be, by some airy vision shaped out of pos- 
sibilities, Mr. Gurner's soul expanded so far as to move him to 
give his daughter a sovereign for the purchase of a new gown. 

" Never mind your grandmother's rubbish," he said, when Loo 
told him of Mrs. Gurner's unwillingness to " tamper with the 
stock." " Go out and buy some new stuff that hasn't been worn 
by a pack of — Lord-knows-whats," said Mr. Gurner, pulling 
himself up short and coining a word, " but that's clean and 
decent as it came from the loom." 

Whereupon Louisa, enraptured, rushed off to Peter Robin- 
son's, where she was almost overcome by the size and splendour 
of the place, and bought a vivid blue merino, which she cut out 
and half made that evening, under the indignant eyes of her 
grandparent. 

" If you had money to spend, Louisa, I think you might have 
laid it out in your own family. I'd have let you had that 
brown poplin for a sovereign — a dress that must have cost five 
when it was new." 

" You said you didn't want to interfere with the stock, 
grandma." 

" Not without having some quo fro quid to enter in my books, 
Louisa ; but your custom would be the same as any one else's, 
except that I should have given you the advantage. I've been 
asking five-and-thirty shillings for that poplin." 

" There's wine stains all down the front breadth, grandma, 
and some little holes burnt in one sleeve, as if it was done with 
a cigar." 

"You need'nt disparage the dress, Louisa, because you've 
spent your money elsewhere." 

" Besides, father told me to buy a new gown, and that's the 
long and the short of it," concluded Loo curtly. 

The study of Shakespeare had not as yet improved or modi- 
fied the familiar language of daily life. 

" Perhaps, as your father is in such a generous mood, he'll be 
kind enough to pay the water-rate," observed Mrs. Gurner in a 
biting tone ; " it's been standing long enough." 

Mr. Leyburne was somewhat startled on his next visit by 
Loo's appearance in the bright blue gown. Its colour reminded 
him of that blue silk whose musical frou-frou he had heard so 
often in Pitzroy-square. He gave a little guilty look, and began 
fainting with less delay than usual. 

Louisa was disappointed. She had expected some praise of 
her new dress ; not that it was his habit to pay her compliments, 



Lost for Love. 83 

only a new dress to her was so great an event that she could 
hardly suppose it would pass unnoticed. She placed herself in 
the accustomed pose, but her lower lip trembled for a moment, 
and she looked like a child inclined to cry. 

Walter dashed into his work vigorously, but soon flagged ; 
seemed strangely disturbed in temper, and at last flung down 
his brush with a muttered exclamation that might have been 
anything. 

"It's no use," he cried impatiently; "I can't paint you in 
that glaring blue thing. The flesh tints are nowhere. I must 
have a dress made immediately — classic drapery, and so on. I 
can get one from a theatrical costumier." 

" Don't you like blue ? " faltered Louisa. 

" For some complexions. Not for yours. What made you 
put that gown on to-day ? " 

" It's a new one ; my father gave it me. I thought you'd 
like it better than that old dingy one I always wear. I haven't 
had a new one for two years." 

A little choking sound followed the confession, and poor 
Loo's mortification found relief in tears. That beautiful bright 
blue garment which she had toiled to make in the dead hours of 
the night, when there was profoundest silence, save of errant 
cats, in Voysey-street ; that garment over whose gores, and 
side-breadths, and placket-hole, and right sleeve and left sleeve, 
her puzzled brain had perplexed itself, was flouted as a " glaring 
blue thing" by the one person whose approbation she most 
desired. She had fancied that she would appear to him a re- 
generate creature in that new gown, like a butterfly released 
from the dull cocoon that had bound it. 

The childish sob, the brimming eyes, touched Walter's kindly 
heart. He ran across the room to her, comforted her with little 
tender, meaningless words, and drew her towards him with a 
gentle brotherly caress. 

" My dearest child," he said, " the dress is all that is charm- 
ing as a dress. Only it kills your complexion. That pale olive 
skin of yours is ruined by blue reflections. Why didn't you 
tell me you wanted a new dress ? Let me choose it for you. 
But I'll have the Lamia costume made at once. I must paint 
my drapery from the real thing — Greek robes of white cashmere, 
with the old key border in scarlet ; just enough colour to warm 
the dead white, and make a vivid contrast with that inky hair." 

She was consoled, but he remained none the less sorry for 
having wounded her. What a foolish sensitive creature she 
was, in spite of Voysey-street, the grandmother, the second- 
hand finery ! A very woman, in no wise unsexed by that sharp 
ordeal of poverty. Until now he had shrunk from offering her 
anything approaching to a gift. Even his books he had only 



84 Lost for Love. 

lent her. But on the day after this little scene he sent her a 
parcel of silk, a deep rich purple red, the colour of Chambertin. 
There was lace in the parcel, soft-looking Brussels, or Mechlin, 
which Mrs. Gurner pronounced worth a small fortune. It was 
hardly the most serviceable dress that could have been given to 
a young person in Voysey-street, that wine-dark Naples silk, 
scarcely a dress to fetch beer in, or even wear sitting at one's 
ease in the little parlour, where all the domestic processes neces- 
sary to existence went on daily. Certainly not a dress in which 
to wait upon lodgers, or do the " cleaning." But, having 
wounded her by his unkindness, Mr. Leyburne was only eager 
to atone for his offence, and to his artistic mind the question of 
utility never presented itself. 

" Dear Miss Gurner," ne wrote in the brief note which accom- 
panied the parcel, " I venture to send you a dress, which I think 
will suit you better than the blue. Kindly accept it, and wear 
it, as a proof that you have forgiven me my impertinence about 
the dress of your own choosing. I have ordered the Lamia 
costume, and shall be much obliged if you will go to Mercer's, 
in Bow- street, and have it tried on. I have told them you will 
call. — Yours always, 

"Waxter Leybtirne." 

Mrs. Gurner turned over the contents of the parcel with 
many a moan. 

" It must have cost ten shillings a yard," she said ; " and 
there's fifteen yards, that's seven pound ten ; and six yards of 
lace, at fifteen shillings to a pound — call it fifteen — four pound 
ten; twelve pounds for a dress that you can never wear but 
once in a way on a Sunday afternoon ; and then be dressed 
above your station and draw down evil-minded remarks. 
Twelve pound would have paid a quarter's rent. What a pity 
he didn't give you the money !" 

" Do you suppose I'd have taken money from him, grand- 
ma P" flashed out Loo, wrapping up her parcel indignantly. 
"You don't know how to appreciate kindness and generosity. 
I don't care if I never wear the dress ; but I'm proud to think 
he thought it was fit for me, and bought me such a dress as he'd 
have bought for a lady." 

Jarred felt nothing but satisfaction at sight of the present. 

" Bravo ! " said he. " Hold up your head, my girl ; there's 
money bid for you. Who knows what may happen ? I should 
like to have a look at that doll-faced Miss in Pitzroy-square, 
and see if she's as good-looking as our Loo, now that she's 
taken to keep her hair tidy." 



jjost jor Xiove. 85 

Instead of being grateful for the implied compliment, the girl 
flamed up at this speech of her father's. 

" You've no business to say such things," she cried ; " you've 
no right to talk about the young lady that — that — Mr. Ley- 
burne's going to marry. It's all very well for him to be kind, and 
to make believe to think me a lady ; and I'm grateful to him for 
taking so much trouble. But do you think I don't know that 
it's all make-believe ? do you think I don't know that I'm like 
the dirt under his feet ? " 

" Bless and save us ! " exclaimed Jarred, " what a spitfire ! 
Here, give me the tobacco-jar, Loo, and don't talk like a fool. 
The best horse will win, depend upon it ; and it isn't likely I 
should back a strange stable, when I've got a filly of my own in 
the race." 



CHAPTER IX. 

" But life is sweet, and mortality blind ; 
And youth is hopeful, and Fate is kind 
In concealing the day of sorrow ; 

And enough is the present tense of toil — 

For this world is, to all, a stiffish soil ; 

And the mind flies back with a glad recoil 
From the debts not due till to-morrow." 

Returning spring, the earliest chirp of blackbirds in the 
squares, the carol of a wandering lark that has strayed as far 
from dewy cornfields as St. John's Wood, a basket of primroses 
bawled in the dusty street, will awaken in most bosoms a sudden 
yearning for the country. London is all very well, be the 
square Grosvenor or Fitzroy, while we can draw our curtains, 
and light our gas, and call it luxury. London looming through 
the fog, with street-lamps gleaming redly, has a sort of gloomy 
picturesqueness, like that under-world through which Virgd 
cicerones Dante ; but London when skies are blue, and the 
hawthorns abloom in Twickenham meadows, be it ever so dear 
to the darlings of fashion, is apt to pall upon that less-favoured 
race which hath no fellowship with the children of Belgravia 
to whom %he crowd in Hyde Park at sundown is " but a gallery 
of pictures." Thus, perhaps, arose in Flora Ohamney's breast 
a new desire for fairer scenes than are to be found within the 
four-mile radius. A dinner at Richmond, to which Dr. Ollivant 
and Mr. Leyburne were doth invited, served to sharpen this 
hunger rather than to appease it. 



86 Lost for Love. 

" It's so nice of you to bring ns down here, papa darling," 
she said in her fond way, as they sauntered along the walk that 
leads to Thompson's favourite seat, and Earl Russell's rustic 
cottage, while the marmitons of the Star and Garter stewed 
eels and larded sweetbreads for their delectation ; " but it only 
makes me long all the more for the real country. This path 
and that landscape are ever so beautiful ; but I think I can feel 
London in the air. My eyes are not so sharp as Henry the 
Eighth's when he stood on that little knoll yonder, and watched 
for the hoisting of the standard that was to tell him poor dear 
Anne Boleyn's head was cut off — that's historical fact, isn't 
it, Dr. Ollivant ? I remember reading it at Miss Mayduke's. 
But my sense of smell seems to tell me London is very near." 

"I should think, if you smelt anything, it would be the 
dinners cooking at the Star and Garter," said Dr. Ollivant. 

" Come now, papa, when are we to go to the real country ? " 

" I suppose that means Brighton or Scarborough," said the 
doctor. 

" It means nothing of the kind. It means some wild lonely 
place, where papa and I could wander about as we pleased, 
dressed anyhow, and where I should never feel ashamed of that 
old Panama hat papa was so fond of wearing last summer. A 
place where our friends could come to see us if they pleased, 
and where there would be the sea and boats, and where I could 
sketch from nature all day long, if I liked. There must be ever 
so many such places at home and abroad; abroad would be best, 
for I do so long to see some strange new world, where the com- 
mon people look like peasants on the stage, and where there is 
a background of blue mountains, and vineyards, and broad 
winding river, such as one sees in a drop-scene. Now, dear Dr. 
Ollivant, please take my part. You know you told papa 
travelling would be good for him." 

" Did I P " asked the doctor absently. " I forget." 

" Do you really ? How strange ! Why, it was your own 
suggestion, one evening in Wimpole-street ; the very first even- 
ing we ever spent there." 

" I may have said so. But travelling on the Continent is 
hardly the kind of thing I should recommend to your father 
just now. He wants repose." The grave professional look 
travelled slowly to the figure beside him. "An English water- 
ing-place might be beneficial, if he liked the idea." 

" I like any idea that my little girl likes," said Mark Chamney. 
" If she has set her heart on the Continent, we'll go on the 
Continent." 

"2To, no, papa," cried Flora hurriedly, and with a sudden 
subdued look in her face, as of one to whose mind some grave 
sad question had newly presented itself; "no, we will only go 



Lost for Love. 87 

where it is best for yon. Advise us, Dr. Ollivant. Would it be 
best to stay at home — would the fatigue of a journey hurt 
papa P " 

" I believe not. Indeed, I think change of air and scene 
would be good for him." 

" Then I will go anywhere you please, papa," said the girl, 
more fondly than ever, with anxious eyes lifted sadly to her 
father's face and one little hand clinging to his arm. A pretty 
picture of purest womanhood, and grace more sweet than 
beauty, yet one that escaped the painter's errant gaze. He was; 
looking across the landscape, dreamily, into the dim blue dis- 
tance beyond the winding river. 

" In that case we'll go to Branscomb. It's the only English 
watering-place I know or care about. You must remember 
Branscomb, Ollivant; the place we used to go to when we were 
boys." 

" I have a faint recollection of spending a day there once, and 
of universal dreariness." 

" Dreariness ! with the sea at your feet ? Why, man, there- 
is an everlasting beauty in that which is independent of all the 
petty prettiness of the land. Set me face to face with the sea,, 
and I don't care what barren rock or parched and sandy waste- 
yon give me to stand upon. But if Branscomb is rather a dull, 
out-of-the-way place, the country round is beautiful. I doated 
upon Branscomb when I was a boy; perhaps the happiest hours 
of my life were the long sunny days I spent lying on the beach 
or shying pebbles at the seagulls." 

" Pray let us go to Branscomb, papa. I shall love to see the 
place you were so fond of," cried Flora, brightening with her 
father's eagerness. He could hardly be so very ill as she had 
feared just now from that strange grave look of the doctor's, for 
he spoke as if there were still pleasures worth living for — as if 
the warmth and gladness of life were still aglow in his breast. 
" You'll come to see us at Branscomb, won't you, Mr. Ley- 
burne ? " she said in a gayer tone to the painter. " I don't 
think you'd be deterred by a long journey." 

She thought that in those hansom cabs of his, the sound of 
whose swift wheels and banging of whose doors so often startled 
her, he must every week travel the distance between London 
and Edinburgh. 

" I beg your pardon," said Walter, newly awakened from his 
reverie. " Who's Branscomb ? " 

Everything had to be explained to him. He had evidently 
heard nothing of the conversation for the last quarter of an 
hour. 

" You must come to see us in Devonshire, and teach me to 
paint the sea. I shall be sketching nearly all day long." 



88 Lost for Love. 

_ He would be delighted, of course, not that the sea was in his 
line, but he would give her such help as he could, directly he 
had finished a picture he had in hand. 

This was early in May. Mr. Chamney and his daughter ha 2 
not yet been to the Royal Academy. 

" I thought your important picture was tc be finished ana 
sent in last month," said Flora; 

" No. I did think of sending it in this year; but I have been 
lazy. The picture is only half-finished. I didn't want to 
scamp it, you see, and I couldn't get a model I liked for one of 
my figures." 

" I'm so sorry. I was looking forward to seeing your picture 
at the Exhibition. Then there is nothing of yours, I suppose," 
she concluded regretfully. 

" Yes. I sent a trifle by way of an experiment ; and for a 
wonder it was accepted. Skyed, of course, but it is something 
to get in." 

" 0, please tell me all about it." 

" There is little to tell. It is only a single figure. You might 
go through the rooms half a dozen times without noticing it." 

" J couldn't," said Flora naively ; " I should know your style. 
But do tell me the subject." 

" I call it ' Esmeralda' — Victo Hugo's heroine, you know. A 
solitary figure crouching against the dark wall of a mediaeval 
prison. A pale despairing face looking out of dense shadow." 

" It must be grand," said Flora, enraptured. 

" Only to the friendliest eyes. One of the weekly papers said 
my flesh-tints suggested putty, and my shadows were a reminis- 
cence of pea-soup." 

" Wretch ! " cried Flora •, " envy, of course. Why do they 
allow disappointed painters to turn critics ? " 

" It isn't fair, is it ? Though, for that matter, I should like 
to walk into some of the exhibitors myself." 

Everything was decided by-and-by, after dinner. They dined 
in the old coffee-room of the old Star and Garter, which most 
of us remember so well, and in which so many of us have dined 
in days that are gone and with friends that are dead. They 
dined in the broad bay window overlooking that fair valley 
through which Thames winds his silver ribbon ; now making a 
gentle bend around the classic groves of Ham ; now dividing his 
watery arms to embrace the willow-wooded islet. In this old 
window they sat while the twilight deepened, planning the 
Branscomb expedition ; Mark Chamney full of talk, Flora 
animated and happy, Dr. Ollivant more cheerful than usual, 
only the painter thoughtful, leaning across his folded arms, 
-with those dreamy eyes of his fixed on the fading landscape. 
Flora stole a glance at him now and then, and wondered at his 



Lost for Love. 89 

unwonted silence. But then, she reasoned, it is in the nature of 
artists to be thoughtful when face to face with nature. Even 
that familiar landscape, which every cockney knows by heart, 
but which of its kind is matchless, might mean inspiration for 
him. 

" I think I'll come with you," said the doctor, " if you've no 
objection. I haven't had a holiday since I came from the Con- 
tinent, except to run across the Channel to hear a lecture, or see 
an experiment now and then in Paris, and you can hardly call 
that recreation. I shouldn't wonder if I want a little of that 
complete repose I am always recommending to my patients." 

" 0, do come, Dr. Ollivant ! " exclaimed Flora, delighted. " I 
never thought of asking you, knowing how precious your time 
is. But it would be so nice to feel you were taking care of papa. 
Not that he really needs much care, except mine, I hope," with 
an anxious half-appealing look, as much as to say, " For pity's 
sake, tell me that all is well." 

"No, Baby, I couldn't have a tenderer nurse than you," 
answered the father, drawing^the slight figure nearer to him in 
the friendly twilight. " And so long as I live your care shall 
make me happy. Only remember, darling, the best-made 
machinery will wear out sooner or later, and perhaps some 
of the strongest may break down all at once, like that wonderful 
one-horse chaise we were reading about the other night." 

" Papa, papa ! " with a burst of tears, " how can you speak 
lightly of what would break my heart ! " 

" Why, Baby ! as if I were an oracle, and knew all the ins and 
outs of destiny. Come, Flo, cheer up, and let us talk about 
Branscomb. I'll telegraph to a house agent at Long Sutton 
to-morrow morning, and tell him to go over and find us lodgings, 
or a house, and we'll go down the next day. You'll go with us, 
won't you, Walter ? My little girl must have gayer society than 
two old fogies like Ollivant and me." 

The doctor laughed, that low but somewhat bitter laugh of 
his, so subdued as hardly to have offended Lord Chesterfield. 

" One of the penalties which Science inflicts on her votaries," 
said he, " to be set down as an old fogy at eight-and-thirty." 

"You are very kind," answered Walter, coming suddenly to 
life again, as if out of a mesmeric trance ; " but I don't think I 
could leave London at so short a notice, even for the pleasure of 
accompanying you and Miss Chamney ; and I need hardly say 
what a temptation that is. I've so much work in hand." 

" Pshaw ! " exclaimed Chamney, " as if a young fellow in your 
position need care about work." 

" It's foolish, perhaps, but I've set my heart on making some 
Bhred of reputation. If you'll allow me to follow you in a week 
or so, I shall be very glad." 



90 Lost for Love. 

"As you please," said Mr. Chamney, piqued; and so the 
matter ended. 

It seemed strange to Flora that there should be any hitch in 
her programme. She had been accustomed to find the painter 
a willing slave, not that she had tried him by any means 
severely, for the ways and works of coquetry were unknown to 
her simple soul. But until lately he had hung upon her words 
as if they were of supreme importance to him, and had been 
studiously attentive to her slightest wishes. Of late, within 
the last few weeks at least, there had been a change too subtle 
for her to understand, far too indefinite for her to complain of, 
even in her own thoughts, but just sufficient to steal a little of 
fife's sunshine from that lot which had seemed to her so perfect 
in its full measure of happiness. 

" I thought I was almost the happiest creature in the world," 
she said to herself; "but then I counted him as part of my 
happiness. If we should have been mistaken after all, papa 
and I, and he doesn't care for me — never did care for me any 
more than for any other girl in whose father's house he might 
like to spend his evenings ! " 

The mere suggestion was appalling. How foolish she had 
been to think of him as she had thought, to reckon his love in 
the sum total of her happiness ! It was her father's fault, no 
doubt, or the effect of that pleasant easy-going friendship between 
these two young people — drawing-lessons, delicious dabblings 
with the brightest colours Rathbone-place could furnish, duet- 
singing, voices blending in dulcet harmonies, a similarity of 
tastes that seemed to mark them as those twin-born beings 
parted in some ante-natal phase of existence, and only perfect 
when reunited. She had taken it for granted, ever so long ago, 
that he loved her, and that the shred of reputation he talked of 
with such proud humility was to be a crown of wild olive laid 
at her feet. Yet, chilled by this indescribable change in him, 
and brought face to face with stern reality, what foundation had 
she for the fabric of her dream-palace ? Those thrilling smiles 
and looks of his, words and whispers that had sunk into her 
inmost heart, the fond clasp of his hand at parting, the linger- 
ing talk on the half-lighted staircase when he was going away 
— these might mean nothing after all, might only be the 
small change current in that society of which she knew so 
little, mere counters, made for show, and worthless as withered 
leaves. 

" If he doesn't come to Branscomb I shall know he doesn't 
care for me," thought Flora, as they drove back to London in 
the clear spring night. 

They had not gone far before the painter threw off his 
thoughtfulness like a garment, and began to talk with his aocus- 



Lost for Love. 91 

tomed gaiety. He was, indeed, gayer than usual, with a vivacity 
that bordered on boisterousness ; and Flora's doubts and fears 
vanished like " snow-flakes in the river." 



CHAPTEE X. 



" You do me -wrong to take me out o' the grave. 
Thou art a soul in bliss ; but I am bound 
Upon a wheel of fire." 

It was not quite ten o'clock when they arrived in Fitzroy- 
square, so Mr. Chamney insisted upon taking both his friends 
up to the drawing-room for the doch-an-dorrach, or parting cup, 
which in this instance took the shape of brandy-and-seltzer. 
He was tired, and flung himself at full length on a capacious 
old sofa ; but was not too tired to ask for one of his favourite 
songs. 

" Give us the ' Land of the Leal,' Flo," he said ; and Flora 
went to the piano obediently, and began those pathetic words 
of Caroline Nairne's. But half-way in the second verse she 
broke down suddenly and burst into tears. 

Walter was by her side in a moment, bending over her 
tenderly, asking if she were ill or tired. Her father looked 
round wonderingly. 

" Why, Baby, what's the matter ? " 

She took no notice of the painter's solicitude, but left the 
piano and knelt down by her father's sofa, and put her arms 
round his neck. 

" Forgive me for being so foolish, darling," she said, in lowest 
tones, meant for his ear alone; "but I can't bear any song 
that speaks of parting. You won't leave me, will you, dear ? 
You'll take care of yourself, and get strong and well and never 
leave me?" 

He took her to his heart and kissed her fondly. 

" May God be merciful to us, my dearest, and lengthen our 
days together! " he said gently; "I will do nothing to shorten, 
them. And now go up-stairs, dear; you're tired and a little 
out of spirits. Yet you were so gay coming home from Rich- 
mond." 



92 Lost for Love. 

"Yes, papa; I forget sometimes. But that song put a 
sudden fear into my heart. Very foolish, wasn't it ? A song 
about a poor old man, who was between seventy and eighty, I 
daresay. As if that had anything to do with you, who are in 
the prime of life." 

" It was very foolish, Baby ! and you've fairly earned your 
pet name. Now, wish our friends good-night, and go up-stairs 
to bed, dear ; I'm sure you're tired." 

The two gentlemen, who had been discreetly preoccupied 
during this little dialogue,— one in looking at the slumbering 
canaries, the other turning over the leaves of a music-book — 
now emerged from their abstraction and bade Flora good-night, 
each after his peculiar fashion — Mr. Leyburne with a lingering 
tenderness, which had yet something doubtful and undecided 
about it, as if he could hardly trust the blind impulse of his 
heart; the doctor with thoughtful gravity, detaining the little 
hand for a moment while he put his finger on the slender wrist. 

" A shade too quick," he said ; " but a night's rest will set 
yon up again. Change of air will be very good for you as well 
as for papa." 

The doctor left immediately, and Walter went out with him. 
The square would have been empty of human life but for one 
solitary figure standing by the railings, looking up at Mr. 
Chamney's house. Dr. Ollivant stopped to look across the 
road at this lonely wayfarer. 

" Curious," he said ; " she looks as if she were watching 
Chamney's house." 

She moved away as he spoke, and walked towards the other 
side of the square. 

" ' One more unfortunate,' I suppose," said the doctor with a 
sigh ; " but she really did seem to be watching the house when 
we came out, didn't she ? " 

"Upon my word, I didn't see her," answered Walter hur- 
riedly. 

" Then you must have been looking up at the stars, for she 
was standing exactly opposite. Good-night." 

" Good-night." 

Ihey were at the door of Mr. Leyburne's abode by this time, 
and here parted with no remarkable warmth of feeling. Walter 
put his latch-key in the lock, but lingered a little over the opera- 
tion, long enough to allow the doctor's upright figure to vanish 
from the square — and then put the key back into his pocket 
and hurried off in the direction taken by the girl. She had not 
left the square. He found her standing by the railings on the 
other side, her face almost hidden by a thick black veil tied 
tightly across it. He knew her, however, in spite of this 
disguise. 



Lost for Love. 93 

" Loo ! " he exclaimed, " what are you doing here, child P " 

" I don't know — nothing ! I was miserable at home, so I 
came out for a walk. One may as well be miserable out of 
doors as in that stuffy room with grandma. I knew very well 
where you'd be, so I went to look up at the windows — for 
company." 

" Poor Loo !" with infinite compassion. " Why, the books I 
lent you would have been better company than that ! " 

" Yes, if I could only read them. But I can't — at least not 
till grandma's gone to bed. It's a crime to open a book in her 
opinion. I sit up till three in the morning sometimes reading, 
though. I think I know the Bride of Abydos by heart. But 
even then I get bullied about the candle being burnt out." 

" I wouldn't say bullied, Loo. It's out of harmony with 
feminine lips." 

"Pitched into, then." 

" Worse and worse. Isn't it just as easy to say scolded ? " 

" I daresay it is ; but it does me more good to say bullied. I 
do get bullied, nagged at and bullied from morning till night. 
Is it my fault if things are dearer than they used to be, and 
taxes higher ? I'm sure I'm treated as if it was." 

The old leaven would show itself sometimes in this poor Louisa, 
despite of the refining influence which had wrought so swift a 
change. Her mood to-night was not the softest. She knew that 
she was sinking back into the old lowness, for which she had hated 
herself and her surroundings even to loathing ; but there was a 
sullen anger in her heart just now which made her indifferent 
to her own degradation. What did these small distinctions of 
language signify ? She could never be a lady. In the good old 
days of the slave-trade it mattered very little to one of that 
subject race which shade of blackness his visage wore. There 
were no degrees of bondage. Under that hateful law every 
colour counted as black. So with Louisa's slavery to the> bond- 
master Poverty. Of what use were her dim aspirations for re- 
finement when she knew herself without the pale ? 

" What's the good of telling me not to use vulgar words?" 
she asked sullenly; "I should never be like her ;" with a jerk 
of her head in the direction of Mr. Chamney's abode. 

" You might be a very superior young woman for all that," 
replied the painter, not disputing her proposition; "you've 
brains enough for anything. Come, Loo, I'll tell you a secret. 
We'd better walk towards Voysey- street, though; it doesn't 
look well standing about here." 

" As if looks mattered for such as me." 

" Your favourite Byron would have said ' sucb as I ' — am un- 
derstood. I don't know what's amiss with you to-night, Loo ; 
you're not like yourself." 



94 Lost for Love, 

" Yes, I am ; more like myself than I've been for a^tong time. 
I've been trying hard to be like some one else. Not her I " with 
another jerk ; " for of course that's impossible. Such as me — I 
— can't be like perfection. You might as soon wash negroes 
white — real negroes, not Christy's. I did try to grow a little 
better, though ; but to-night I had a fit of unhappiness — or 
wickedness — I don't know which, for in me they seem almost 
the same thing — and I came out of doors to get out of myself 
if I could." 

" Poor Loo ! " murmured Walter, in the same compassionate 
tone, as gently as if he had been trying to comfort a fretful 
child. " Poor foolish, impatient Loo ! Come, now, it's time I 
told you my grand secret." 

" That you're going to be married soon, I suppose ? " she said. 
There are women who — in such moods as this woman was 
now in — take a savage pleasure in saying things that hurt 
them. 

" Nothing of the kind — I — well — to tell you the truth, I've 
been a little unsettled in my ideas of matrimony lately. Yet 
Flora is the sweetest girl in the world. To deny that would be 
a kind of Veason. Only you see a man has to discover whether 
a particular kind of sweetness suits his particular temper, and 
to be very sure that the honey never could cloy. Some men even 
like their honey with a dash of vinegar in it. In short, I have a 
disagreeable knack of not knowing my own mind." 

All this was said with as much freedom and frankness as if 
he had been talking to a young man instead of to a young 
woman. 

" What is your grand secret, then, if it isn't that P " asked 
Loo, still in a sullen tone. 

" Why, it's about you, my dear Louisa. Ever so long ago, 
very soon after I began the ' Lamia,' I determined to make you 
some little recompense for your kindness in sitting to me." 

" My kindness ! " echoed the girl scornfully. " As if it wasn't 
pleasanter to me to sit and hear poetry than to scrub floors or 
run errands." 

"I'm glad it wasn't unpleasant; but still it was a kindness 
to me all the same. I made up my mind I'd do something ; and 
when I found out what a clever girl you are, I said to myself, 
the something shall take the form of education. If the picture 
succeeds — it was a fancy of mine to make it contingent on the 
success of the picture — 111 send Loo to the best boarding-school 
I can find, for three years; at the end of which time she'll be a 
well-educated young lady, and able to get her own living in a 
ladylike manner. Young women are not at a discount as they 
used to be ; there are telegraph-offices and houses of business, 
and goodness knows what, open to the weaker sex nowadays. 



Lost for Love. 95 

Well, the picture hasn't succeeded yet ; in fact, it has not been 
sent in. But the ' Esmeralda ' for which you sat is the first 
picture I've ever had hung, and it's been well spoken of in half 
a dozen newspapers. So you see you've been lucky to me after 
all, Loo." 

" I'm glad of that," she said in a softer tone. 

" Therefore, as delays are dangerous, I've resolved to finish 
the pictures you're sitting for as fast as I can, and make imme- 
diate arrangements for sending you to school." 

To his surprise and consternation the girl shook her head 
resolutely. 

" I won't go to school," she said ; " it's very good of you to 
think of it, and I'm grateful. But I don't want schooling. You 
couldn't school me into a lady ; and as for being a governess, I 
couldn't sit quiet to teach children grammar and geography if it 
was my only chance of escaping starvation. I'm pretty quick 
at figures, and I could learn anything I should want to know 
for a house of business in a quarter's evening school — at Mr. 
Primrose's in Cave-square. I think, though, I'd rather emigrate 
when you've done your pictures. I had an aunt that went to 
Australia, and I've sometimes thought of getting away from 
Voysey-street and grandma's worrying by going off like her." 

Walter Leyburne shuddered. Here was a strong-minded 
young woman for whom he could do nothing — a young woman 
who could calmly contemplate a solitary voyage to the Antipodes. 

" I can't tell you how you've disappointed me," he said. " Do 
think it over quietly, and try to see the question in a different 
light. Consider all the advantages of education." 

"What could it do for me except raise me above my station ? " 
asked Loo moodily ; " and make me hate Voysey-street just a 
shade more than I do now. It wouldn't give me a new father 
— not but what I'm fond of him as he is — or a new grand- 
mother. It wouldn't make me more on a level with your per- 
fect young lady in Eitzroy-square." 

"How you harp upon her, child! Why, education would 
raise you to her level ! It is only education that constitutes her 
present superiority. Her sweetness is the sweetness of a refined 
nature which has never been degraded by vulgar associations." 

" But my nature has been so degraded," replied Loo quickly. 
" You couldn't wash the vulgarity out. Laying English gram- 
mar and French, and music and drawing, and the use of the 
globes, over the degradation wouldn't be much use. It would 
be like father's varnishing a bad picture — the picture may look 
a little better, but the bad drawing and the false colour are there 
all the same." 

"You talk like a philosopher," said the painter, somewhat 
offended that his benevolent instincts should be thus thwarted, 



96 Lost for Love. 

" and I bow to your superior judgment. I will say no 
more." 

" Now you're angry with me," cried Louisa, quick to hear the 
change in his tone ; " but indeed I'm not ungrateful. I should 
be so, if I let you waste your money in trying to do something 
that can't be done. As for education," she went on with a sar- 
donic laugh, " rely upon it that's a luxury thrown away upon 
people of our class. I can just read and write and cast up a 
bill for grandma, and hold my own against the milkman when 
he wants us to pay for ha'porths we haven't had. That's 
enough for me. I don't suppose I could be fonder of Shake- 
speare and Byron than I am, if I'd had ever so good an edu- 
cation." 

" Perhaps not ; but you'd have a more critical appreciation of 
both." 

" That means that I should find out their faults. Then I 
don't want to be critical." 

" What a tiresome obstinate girl you are ! " 

" 0, you can't lift me out of the mire ; I was born in it. 
You've changed my life for a little time, and brightened it ; but 
when the pictures are done, good-bye to the brightness. You'll 
have done with me." 

" Done with you ! Now, Loo, is it kind to talk like that, 
when I want to be your true and loyal friend— as true to you 
as if we had been born brother and sister ? The misfortune is, 
that the abominable laws of society — made, of course, to restrain 
miscreants — give so narrow a scope for friendship between a 
man of my age and a girl of yours. If you won't let me send 
you to school, I don't know that there's a single thing I can do 
for you to prove my friendship. I give you my honour I was 
thinking about this very subject at Richmond this afternoon." 

" At Eichmond ! " exclaimed Loo. " You had been to 
Richmond with them, then ? I saw you all get out of the 
carriage." 

" Foolish girl, to waste your time watching other people." 

" Richmond ! that's a pretty place, isn't it ? " 

" Rather," replied the young lord of f 'ie universe, secure in 
the possession of an income that would allow him to range the 
world, from one garden of enchantment to another, and not 
disposed to be rapturous about a London suburb. " Yes, it's a 
niceish place. Haven't you been there ? " 

" I've never been anywhere, except to Hampstead Heath once, 
and to the Forest." 

"What Forest?" 

" Epping. Are there any other forests ? " 

" Any other forests ! Poor child ! To think that this world 
is so beautiful, and you have hardly seen anything outside 



Host for Love. 97 

Voysey- street. Let the usages of society go hang ! I'm not a 
ruffian, and I won't be fettered by them. Do you think your 
grandmother would let me take you for a day in the country, 
Loo ? I could get a dog-cart from the livery-stables, and I'd 
drive you down to some nice little village by the Thames — 
Shepperton or Halliford, or some such place. I'd ask the old 
lady to go with us ; only I'm afraid she'd be rather a damper." 

" She would,'' said Loo candidly. " She always is a damper." 

" Do you think she'd let us go ? " 

" I don't know. Perhaps if you asked her she might." 

"Then I'll propose it to her to-morrow, after we've had a 
snack of some kind and a bottle or two of Edinburgh. Would 
you like to see the hawthorn hedges, and the river, and the 
reedy little islands, eh, Loo P " 

" Would I like ! What have I ever seen of the country, or of 
anything that's bright and pretty ? It would seem like being in 
heaven. I always think the great beauty of heaven must be 
that it isn't like Voysey-street." 

They were in the much-abused Voysey-street by this time, 
and encountered two or three slipshod specimens of the genus 
girl, fetching supper-beer. The chandler's shop was only just 
shutting; it was the noon of night at the shell-fish merchant's. 
They parted at the door of the ladies' wardrobe, Walter pledging 
himself to obtain Mrs. Gurner's permission for that holiday 
beside the winding Thames. 

" You haven't any idea how jolly the river is, when you get 
high up towards Windsor, above the locks," he said, and bade 
Loo a kindly good-night. The promised pleasure had restored 
her spirits. Her eyes — those dark inscrutable eyes — had bright- 
ened ; her whole aspect improved. Yet at the last she flung a 
random shot. 

"What will Miss Chamney say if you take me out?" she 
said. 

" It cannot make the slightest difference to Miss Chamney," 
he answered stiffly. " Good-night." 

The lifted hat, that dignified farewell, sent a chill to Loo's 
impatient heart. 

" What's the good of my wearing myself into a fever about 
him ? " she said to herself, as she went through the dark little 
shop, into the airless parlour, with a tolerable certainty of being 
" nagged at " for her untimely absence. " What am I to him, 
or he to me ? There's nothing in nature farther apart. His 
kindness to me is only charity. I almost hate him for it." 

Yet she did not hate the idea of that day in the country, but 
yearned for it with a longing that was akin to pain. To be with 
him for a whole day, away from all the sights and sounds of 
Voysey-street — from the dirty room reeking with stale tobacco, 



98 Juest jor Jbove. 

the slatternly grandmother in her greasy black silk gown, the 
sordid misery of her daily life ; to escape from these things hut 
for a few hours, and to be with him ! Was it any wonder that 
she sickened at the thought of disappointment ? 



CHAPTER. XI. 

"Twas one of the charmed days 

When the genius of God doth flow— 
The wind may alter twenty ways, 

A tempest cannot blow : 
It may blow north, it still is warm ; 

Or south, it still is clear ; 
Or east, it smells like a clover farm ; 

Or west, no thunder fear." 

Mbs. Gtjknee, conciliated by a Melton Mowbray veal-and-ham 
pie, washed down with copious draughts of Edinburgh ale, 
proved more tractable than might have been expected. She did 
not forget that dignity which was the strong rock of her life. 
She dilated upon the impropriety of a young gentleman giving 
a young lady a day's outing, unless those two young people 
were specifically understood by their circle of friends or acquain- 
tance to be " keeping company." She had seen enough of good 
manners, before her misfortunes reduced her from the sphere in 
which she had been bora and brought up, to be fully instructed 
upon this point. People who were keeping company might go 
where they liked ; people who were not keeping company must 
defer* to the prejudices of a too censorious world. 

Walter reddened a little at these remarks, while Loo frowned 
and bit her nether lip, and tried to tread upon her grandmother's 
foot under the table. 

" Never mind the censorious world, Mrs. Gurner. I hope you 
know that I'm not a scoundrel." 

" I have always found you in every respect the gentleman," 
said the old lady, pouring out a final tumbler of Younger'a 
Edinburgh. 



Last for .Love. 99 

" Then you may feel sure that your granddaughter will be 
Bafe in my care. I only want to give her a few hours' fresh air. 
See how white she looks." 

" I feel the want of fresh air myself," said the elder lady, 
with a faint groan ; " but no one troubles themselves about my 
looks." 

Walter felt uncomfortable. 

" I'm sure, my dear Mrs. Gurner, if you'd like to go with 
us — " be began, making a desperate offer. It would be fearful 
to have that old woman beside him in the dog-cart : and he 
could hardly put her on the back seat, with the possibility of 
her being jolted off and flattened upoD the pavement. He 
wanted to be alone with Loo. He wanted a long sunny day 
in the rural lanes, sheltered by elder and hawthorn, beside the 
winding river. He wanted to talk of Shakespeare and Keats 
and Byron, pictures, his hopes, his future — all those subjects 
which this poor uneducated Loo seemed to understand even 
better than Flora Chamney. 

Happily Mrs. Gurner had mercy on him. 

" No," she said ; " two's company. I should only be an 
encumbrance. Besides, I've had so little fresh air of late years 
that it might turn me giddy. Let her go ; let her enjoy her- 
self; youth's the time for happiness." This with a dismal 
sigh. 

The consent was yielded, however, and that was all Mr. Ley- 
burne cared about. 

" If it's a fine day to-morrow I shall call for you at eleven 
o'clock," said Walter. 

Loo tried not to look quite as delighted as she was. After all, 
she kept saying to herself, his kindness was only pity. 

Walter went away curiously pleased at having gained his 
point. The idea, of to-morrow's holiday elated him. He was 
surprised at his own gladness. 

"There's something so fresh and original about her," he 
thought. " I suppose that's why I like her society so much. 
Or is it because I ought not to be so fond of her company? 
ought not to have a thought for any one except that dear little 
Flora, who seems to have been created on purpose for me ? I 
wonder how it was Eve listened to the serpent ? Was it out of 
sheer perversity, or because Adam was rather a dull com- 
panion?" 

The next day was glorious, balmy, midsummer-like ; a day 
which raised Walter Leybume's spirits to their most joyous 
point. The ostler from the livery-stables had the dog-cart ready 
for him when he went into the yard. He had been artful 
enough to go to the yard for that vehicle, rather than have it 
brought to bis door in Fitzroy-square. He saw no actual 



100 Lost for Love. 

wrong in what he was doing ; but it seemed to him just as well 
that neither Mark nor Miss Chamney should know anything 
about this little excursion. 

He drove briskly round to Voysey-street, astonishing the 
gutter children by the splendour of his appearance, in light-grey 
dust-coat and white hat. Loo was ready. She had put on her 
claret-coloured silk, his own gift, to do him honour. A black- 
lace shawl, the loan of which Mrs. Gurner had on this occasion 
conceded, draped her sloping shoulders, a little black-lace bonnet, 
ingeniously constructed out of odds and ends, perched coquet- 
tishly upon her raven hair — hair which was plenteous enough ta 
need no help from art — her father, who knew of the intended 
excursion, and expressed no disapproval, had given her three- 
and-sixpence for a new pair of gloves. The result was satisfac- 
tory, and Miss Gurner looked remarkably handsome — so hand- 
some that Walter was almost startled. 

" Why you look better than ' Lamia ! ' " he exclaimed ; " and 
I thought I had you there at your best. There's more life, 
more colour. I suppose it's because you look so happy. Poor 
child, to think that the prospect of a drive in the country can 
give you so much pleasure ! " 

" It isn't that — it's the prospect of being with you," the girl 
answered, almost involuntarily. 

Walter reddened a little — just as he had reddened yesterday 
when Mrs. Gurner made that awkward speech about keeping 
company ; but he said never a word, and pretended to be rather 
busy with the horse for the next half-mile. 

They left London by the Bays water- road. For a long time 
villas andjjardens, terraces, houses, detached and semi-detached, 
flashed by in endless succession ; but when they had crossed 
Hammersmith-bridge they seemed to be in the country. 
Walter drove into Richmond Park by the Sheen gate, and across, 
by the wildest, loneliest roads in that lovely park, to the Kings- 
ton gate ; little bursts of rapture breaking from Loo's lips at 
every change in the picture — the scudding deer starting up from 
the young fern ; the arching elms above the road ; the planta- 
tions of pine and firs and tender larch, where young gray 
rabbits flashed in and out among the undergrowth. These 
things were all as new to Louisa Gurner as life and the world 
were to that ivory statue of King Pygmalion's, which the 
indulgent goddess endowed with consciousness. 

Walter drove slowly through the park. To the painter's eye, 
the vernal landscape was ever new and delightful, and he wanted 
to see what impression natural beauty would make upon Louisa. 
For a little while she spoke not a word, but gazed breathless, 
with parted lips, only expressing her pleasure by that occasional 
cry of delight; but words came at last. 



Lost for Love. 101 

" I don't so much wonder now," she said. 

" You don't wonder at what ? " 

" Keats and Byron. It puzzled me so much to think where 
all their beautiful thoughts came from. But now I know the 
world is so lovely, it doesn't seem so strange there should be 
poets. A poet couldn't come out of Voysey-street." 

" He would hardly be much of a singer if he had never been 
face to face with nature certainly. Yet there might be stuff for 
such a muse as Crabbe's, even in Voysey-street. And so you 
think the world lovely, do you, Loo ? Yet Richmond Park is 
only a little bit of the world Byron knew." 

" I feel as if I'd seen all that he saw," answered Loo. 
" When I read Ghilde Harold late at night, while grandma's 
asleep — not reading it as you'd read a novel, you know, but 
gloating over it — I seem to be standing by his side. If you 
were to ask me what Lake Leman was like, or the mountains, 
or Eome, I couldn't tell you ! but I feel as if I had it all in my 
mind — the water, and the sky, and the warm sweet air, and 
everything standing out clear and vivid, like a picture." 

" The work of a strong imagination, Loo. Rather a danger- 
ous gift," said Walter, with the air of a sage. 

" Is it ? Well, sometimes I do fancy I was happier before I 
knew there was such people as poets. I used to feel miserable 
enough then, to be sure, but it was a dull quiet kind of misery ; 
it didn't hurt me so much. I could always sleep when I was 
tired, and forget my troubles. I don't think I ever dreamt, in 
those days. But now I feel restless, and there's a fever in my 
mind sometimes, and I have such wishes and longings for a 
brighter life!" 

This speech uttered with that reckless candour which was 
a characteristic of Loo's, made Mr. Leyburne somewhat 
thoughtful. 

" I'll tell you what it is, Loo," he began presently ; " if you'd 
Only let me carry out that idea of mine about your education, 
you might have as bright and happy a life as any girl need wish 
for. Just think how many doors education would open for you. 
You might get a situation as governess or companion in some 
family who were roving about the Continent, and then you 
would see Switzerland, and Italy, and all the ground Childe 
Harold travelled over. Do just consider." 

" I have considered, and won't be beholden to you," answered 
Loo bluntly. " I don't want to be educated ; I don't want to 
be made any better than I am. I should only feel my degrada- 
tion more than I do now." 

"But, my dear girl, why harp upon what you call your 
degradation ? There's no degradation in poverty." 

" Perhaps not. I daresay some people have the art of making 



102 Lost for Love. 

poverty delightful. You read about such people in novels. But 
there is degradation in dirt, and we are dirty ; not for want of 
scrubbing and cleaning, for I don't spare that; but because 
everything about us is old and dingy and grubby; the dirt 
seems to have got into the pores of the house; and then 
grandma is dirty — it grows upon her as she gets older. And 
there's degradation in fine words mispronounced and mis- 
applied; and grandma does it. There's degradation in not 
being able to pay one's way ; and we can't pay ours. There's 
degradation in telling stories about pictures; and father does 
it. You can't lift me out of all that; I'm steeped to the 
lips in it." 

" Eeally, Loo, you are the most incorrigible girl ! " exclaimed 
Walter, sorely vexed by this obstinacy in Miss Gurner. 

He wanted to do her some real service, feeling that he had 
done her disservice by raising her ideas above the dull level of 
her most prosaic surroundings. 

" What am I to do for you, Loo ? " he cried. 

" Let me alone. I don't want to be taught to despise father. 
You can give me a day's pleasure like this, once in a way, 
if you like. I can live the rest of my life looking forward to 
it." 

Walter did not respond promptly to this suggestion. He 
had begun to think already that this day in the country — a 
scheme of purest benevolence, like the summer treats which the 
charitable provide for ragged- school children — was rather a 
foolish business. Loo, with all her abruptness and roughness, 
was a dangerously interesting young person to the artistic mind 
— all the more interesting, perhaps, because so unconventional. 
There must be no repetition of this country drive, if he wished 
to marry Flora Chamney. 

But did he wish to marry Miss Chamney ? Of course he did 
— dear sweet little Flora, who was so fond of him. He had 
found out that secret ever so long ago. Pretty little Flora, 
whose voice went so well with his own, whose little hand trem- 
bled sometimes when he touched it unawares. Innocent little 
Flora, who was struggling up the steep mountain of art, with 
a box of crayons, chalking Gulnares and ancient beggarmen ad 
nauseam. Could he help loving that dear little girl, especially 
when Mark Chamney's desire upon this subject was so obvious ? 

For ten minutes, or even a quarter of an hour, Mr. Leybume 
gave himself up to serious meditation. They were at Kingston 
by that time, driving through the gay little market- town, with 
its quaint gables and old-world air ; then down by the Thames, 
and onward towards Thames Ditton and Moulsey. Loo was 
gazing around with wide admiring eyes. The solemn avenue 
yonder skirting the Palace grounds, the clear rippling water, 



Lost for Love. 103 

the pretty villas, all bright with tulip-beds and hyacinth-boxes, 
and early roses on southern walls ; the cottage-gardens full of 
wall-flowers breathing sweetest odours. A world of beauty 
verily, after Voysey-street. 

"Come, Loo," said Mr. Leyburne, putting aside serious 
thought as a business that could stand over, " it's almost time 
we began to think of halting somewhere. I mean to give you 
a row, as well as a drive. I know a nice little inn at Thames 
Ditton where they will give us a comfortable dinner ; and while 
they're getting it ready, I'll row you up to Hampton Court- 
bridge, and we can land there and take a stroll in the Palace 
gardens ; it is early yet, and there's no hurry," 

" I wish the day could last for ever," said. Loo, with a sigh ; 
" everything is so lovely." 

" The drive home will be still nicer, for we shall have moon- 
light." 

" Yes, but it will be near the end then ! " 

They drove to the little inn — a quiet hostelry, almost unknown 
save to boating men ; here Walter delivered the horse to the care 
of a friendly ostler. 

" You've taken it out of him pretty well, sir ! " said the man. 

"I've brought him down from London. I don't call that 
very much." 

" No more it ain't, sir; but he looks rather the worst for it." 

" Well, give him a pail of warm gruel, and make him as 
comfortable as you can. He won't be wanted till eight o'clock." 

"All right, sir!" 

Walter went in quest of a boat. There were several lying on 
the little hard just in front of the inn-garden. He picked the 
lightest and brightest-looking, and presently they were gliding 
over the clear water towards Hampton, between banks that 
were all rustic, rush-bordered, willow- shaded. And now they 
began to talk ; Walter dipping the sculls lazily into the water, 
the boat making slowest progress against the stream. 

How he talked! pouring out every thought and fancy as 
freely as if Loo were his second self, his twin-born spirit, with a 
mind that nature had attuned to his — she seemed to understand 
him so thoroughly, and all she said chimed in so well with his 
own thoughts. 

What can surpass the delight of two minds thus in harmony ? 
One long summer's day of careless talk, between such com- 
panions, is a memory to outlast all vulgar pleasures, and endure 
changeless through a lifetime. Walter Leyburne had never 
been happier than he was to-day, leaning forward with slow- 
dipping oars, reciting his dreams, his hopes, his desires to 
Louisa Gurner. They lingered on the river, careless of the 
flight of time; then landed and sauntered in the prim, old- 



104 Lost for Love. 

fashioned gardens, with their glorious vistas of blossoming 
chestnuts, their placid artificial waters, their famous basin 
of gold fish. Still the stream of talk flowed on, and time 
was forgotten. 

" I wish I'd had a sister like you, Loo ! " said Walter, as 
they stood side by side looking down at the smooth water in the 
Home Park on the other side of the iron rails. " I'd have made 
you a painter, if you'd been my sister, and we should have been 
such chums ! " 

" You can make your wife a painter when you're married !" 
answered Loo, with a faint touch of bitterness ; " that pretty 
Miss Ohamney you're engaged to — I've heard you say she paints 
very nicely." 

" Yes, she has talent, but it will be a long time before it comes 
to anything that I should call painting, and she hasn't so bold 
a mind as yours, Loo : she's not such a companion to a man as 
you are. One must sing duets, or talk about the last book she 
has read, to get on with her ; but you seem to understand and 
sympathize with me about everything ; you follow my thoughts 
everywhere, even when you have to grope through the dark. 
When I talked to you about iEschylus just now, I could see 
that you went with me into the dark hall where Agamemnon 
lay groaning in his bath. Flora would have only shuddered, 
and said ' How dreadful ! ' " 

" But she has been well educated, and must know a great deal 
more than I do." 

" She doesn't know a great deal of anything, but she knows a 
little of everything. She hasn't such deep thoughts as you have, 
Loo. Pray don't suppose that I mean to depreciate her ; she is 
a dear little thing, and clever too in her feminine way ; she's 
essentially feminine. If all women were like her, no one could 
ever have talked of the equality of the sexes. You might as 
well talk of equality between the oak and the primrose that 
grows at its foot, as talk of Flora's equality with a rough strong 
man." 

" That sounds like high praise." 

" Yes, she is a sweet little thing. But you make a mistake, 
Loo, when you talk of my being engaged to Miss Chamney. I 
am not actually engaged to her." 

" Something very much like it though, I should think," an- 
swered Loo. " You talked as if it was a settled thing six months 
ago; and since then you've been always hanging about her, 
spending your evenings at her house." 

" Except when I've spent them in Voysey-street." 

" Except when you've dropped in to talk about pictures with 
father." 

" And stopped to supper, and acquired a depraved appetite 



Lost for JLove. 105 

for liver and bacon, and sausages, and tripe," said Walter, 
laughing. 

There was a cloud on Louisa's brow which he was anxious to 
disperse. 

"Be sure of one thing, Loo," he said; "whether I marry 
Miss Chamney or whether I don't, I shall always be your true 
friend, and as anxious for your welfare as if you were my 
sister." 

" It's all very well to promise that," answered Loo, with a 
sceptical air; "but you can't tell how Miss Chamney would 
like it, when she's your wife. She mightn't care about such 
friends as me." 

" She would care for any one I cared for." 

" That's as may be ; she wouldn't care for any one out of 
Voysey-street ; she wouldn't care for a person connected with 
second-hand clothes — it isn't likely. But don't let us talk 
of disagreeable things. Tell me something more about 
Skylous." 

" iEschylus ! " suggested "Walter; and obeyed the damsei's 
bidding. It was much pleasanter to discourse upon the mighty 
trilogy than to discuss that doubtful and perplexing question 
of his future relations with Flora Chamney and Louisa Gurner. 
He wished to do his duty to both, and please everybody. Rather 
a difficult achievement. 

With the help of Agamemnon and Orestes pleasantness soon 
returned to their discourse ; and forgetful of possible damage to 
the dinner ordered at the Black Swan, they dawdled under the 
chestnuts and in the quaint old garden, with its reminiscences 
of jovial Charles and Dutch William. 

Mr. Leyburne, having abandoned Orestes to the Furies, gave 
Loo a brief historical lecture, on the strength of their sur- 
roundings, and felt that there was no easier or more agreeable 
labour than to open the gates of knowledge to a sharp-witted 
and sensible young person. 

" I tell you what it is, Loo," he said, "you're what the Italians 
call sympatica, and it's the easiest thing in the world to get on 
with you. When I think how little you know and how much 
you understand, I'm absolutely thunderstruck." 

Loo blushed at his praise; and that bright youthful look 
which means happiness glowed in her face. 

They were a long time strolling about the gardens, a long 
time going back to the boat, nor did Mr. Leyburne exert himself 
tremendously in the row back to the Swan. The sun was 
eloping westward as they landed on the little causeway below 
the inn-garden. 

" Never mind the sun," said Walter, when Loo suggested that 
it was growing late ; " we shall have the moon with us all the 



106 Lost for Love. 

way home. The drive over Kingston Hill, on the old Ports- 
mouth road, is splendid by moonlight." 

All was very quiet at the Black Swan. The boating-men, 
who were the chief supporters of that riverside hostelry, were 
nowhere to be seen. Walter and Loo had the place all to them- 
selves, as if they had been alone together in a world of their 
own An elderly waiter exhibited an almost fatherly interest 
in their welfare, chid them gently for having occasioned the 
spoiling of an excellent dinner, and waited upon them with 
tender care. 

Happily, neither Mr. Leyburne nor his companion cared very 
much whether the stewed eels were reduced to a pulpy condition, 
or the duckling roasted to rags. "Walter had ordered a bottle of 
iced Moselle, which exhilarating beverage Louisa tasted for the 
first time. There was a gooseberry-tart with a jug of cream 
which these young people preferred to the coarser dishes that 
had gone before. Altogether the dinner was a success — to one 
of them at least a paradisiacal banquet. They lingered over it 
as they had lingered over every stage of that day of pleasure. 
The fatherly waiter brought them a pair of wax-candles, and 
the moon shone in through the now open casement of the rustic 
parlour, while they were still engaged with that delicious goose- 
berry-tart, happily unconscious that they had perchance been 
taking gooseberries in another form in their Moselle. 

Even gooseberry-tart and cream must come to an end. The 
parental waiter cleared the table with that gentle dilatoriness 
which was the pervading charm of his manner, removing the 
glasses one by one, and toying fondly with the crumbs as he 
brushed them into his tray. Loo went to the window and 
looked out. The placid river ran rippling by under the moon- 
light — how different from that dismal Phlegethon she had seen 
sometimes from Waterloo-bridge ! — the opposite shore had a 
dusky look against the clear dark azure of the sky ; shadowy 
willows dipping in the stream, solemn poplars rising spire-like 
into the blue. 

" I'm afraid it's ever so late," said Loo, in an alarmed tone, 
looking round at Walter, who sat with his elbows on the table, 
staring straight before him, curiously thoughtful ; " how that 
Moselle makes one forget things ! I never thought how the time 
was going." 

"Why should you think about it?" asked Walter, waking 
from his reverie. " We are very happy, aren't we, Loo ? What 
can anybody be more than happy ? What can time matter to 
you and me P " 

" But it does matter a good deal," answered Loo anxiously. 
" Grandma didn't say anything about the time I was to be 
home, and I forgot to ask her how long I might stay. But I 



Lost for Love. 107 

know she'd be very angry if I was late ; and goodness knows 
how father might go on about it. He's dreadful when he's 
angry." 

" He shan't be dreadful to you, Loo, if I'm by," said Walter, 
looking at his watch, but taking care not to enlighten Lonisa as 
to the hour, which was later than he had supposed. " What 
time do your people go to bed ? " 

"All hours; sometimes eleven, sometimes twelve ; sometimes 
ten, if father's cross. He generally goes to bed early if he's put 
out about anything." 

" We shall be home before twelve, I daresay, Loo," answered 
Walter, trying to look unconcerned ; he felt that he had been 
guilty in letting the time slip past. It hardly seemed a correct 
thing — even in a Bohemian state of society — to keep a young 
lady out till midnight. 

" Before twelve ! " exclaimed Loo, aghast. " But that's 
dreadfully late ; father's sure to be angry." 

" He shall not say a disagreeable word to you, Loo. I'll see 
him and explain everything." 

" If he'll listen to you," said Loo, still frightened at the idea 
of parental wrath ; " but he's so violent when he's in one of 
his tempers, and doesn't care for any one." 

" I'll smooth him down, Loo, depend upon it. And now go 
and put on your things, while they get the trap round." 

Loo ran away to put on her bonnet and shawl, and Walter 
gave the order for the immediate preparation of the dog-cart. 

It was past ten already, and there was little hope of his 
seeing Voysey-street till after twelve. 



CHAPTER XII. 



" Love is no deity except when twin-born, 
Sprung from two hearts, each yearning unto each, 
Until they meet, though Hades yawn'd between them. 
Thou art to me the world's one man, and I, 
For good or ill, to thee the world's one woman." 

Having given his ordeu, Mr. Leyburne went out into the garden 
to smoke a parting cigar. His thoughts had been curiously 
unsettled that afternoon; the cigar might have a soothing in- 
fluence, and enable him to arrange his ideas better. 



108 Lost for Love. 

The air of the garden was perfumed with lilacs, guelder roses 
gleamed whitely in the dusk of the shrubberied border, the 
plish-plash of the river had a soothing sound — altogether a nice 
place for meditation and tobacco. 

How bappy he had been that day ! What freshness and life 
there had been in Loo's companionship ! Never for a moment 
had their talk flagged, save in those thoughtful pauses when 
silence is sweeter than words — never had he felt himself mis- 
understood. This was indeed society. 

What if he were to shut his eyes to Loo's wretched surround- 
ings and secure this companionship to himself for ever — make 
this day only the image and type of many a day to come — a 
lifetime of such days ? Alas, there were too many reasons 
against his taking such a step ! First, it is an almost impos- 
sible thing to sever a woman from her surroundings. To marry 
Loo would be to ally himself with grandma — grandma in her 
greasy gown; grandma whose breath hinted but too plainly 
at pickled onions, whose slipshod feet, dingy finger-nails, and 
affected gentility would be too heavy a burden even for affection 
— with Jarred ; Jarred of doubtful honesty, doubtful cleanliness : 
Jarred the tricky and unscrupulous. From the thought of 
alliance with these Walter Leyburne recoiled with absolute 
horror. 

In the second place he felt himself in a manner tacitly en- 
gaged to Flora. True that no word of love had ever passed 
between them ; yet those gentle looks of hers, those gracious 
tones, were not the looks and tones of indifference. Could he, 
after all these months of happy fireside companionship, after 
being trusted by her father, coolly depart out of her life, and 
leave her, perhaps on the threshold of an awful parting — for 
Walter had seen the stamp of doom on Mark Chamney's face, 
and knew there must soon be severance for that devoted father 
and daughter — could he, knowing this, knowing how utterly 
lonely that poor child was, basely desert her, even if Bohemian 
Loo, with her gipsy cleverness, pleased his fancy better P He 
knew that Mark Chamney looked upon him as his future son- 
in-law. Mark, always transparent as crystal, had said enough 
to reveal that hope which had been in his mind from the very 
beginning of his acquaintance with the young painter. Flora 
would have a fortune about equal to his own ; Chamney had 
told him that. There could be no question of mercenary feeling 
here. But to marry Loo would be to fling himself into a nest 
of adventurers. Even if Loo herself were free froip every 
thought of greed, from every worldly consideration— -and he 
was inclined to think her as indifferent to his wealth as Flora — 
could he doubt that Jarred and grandma, those advanced stu- 
dents in the school of poverty, were eager to draw him into their 



juost jor jjove. 109 

toils, and would pluck him mercilessly were he to fall into th« 
snare ? 

It was a connection which any young man with a grain of 
common sense would avoid as he would shun the bottomless pit. 
And yet — and yet — what a noble creature Loo had looked to- 
night, ae she stood by the open window looking out at the 
moonlit river ! What power and genius in that darkly-pale 
countenance, those splendid eyes, the eyes which had inspired 
him with the first idea of his Lamia ! The claret-coloured dress 
became her tall slim figure, harmonized wonderfully with her 
complexion, and the dense blackness of her hair. In that dress, 
in that careless attitude, so graceful in its unconscious repose, 
she had looked as much a lady as if her name had been written 
in Burke's " County Families," her birthplace a baronial hall. 
Even her voice and manner of speaking had attuned themselves 
to his — she had lost the twang of Yoysey-street. 

" If she were my wife to-morrow I should be proud to show 
her to the world just as she is. No one would guess that she 
came out of a shop for second-hand gowns. If she and Flora 
were seen side by side, people would be more struck with her 
than with Flora; she has more style, more originality. She 
would look like a tropical flower beside an English prim- 
rose." 

With such musings Mr. Leyburne beguiled the time till the 
dog-cart was ready. The result of his meditation was almost 
negative. He felt himself very much where he was before. Loo 
pleased his fancy most, and an artist's fancy is so great a part 
of his life. Flora had the stronger claim upon his heart. Pru- 
dence said, " Marry Flora." Errant imagination whispered, 
" With whom are you so happy as with Loo ? " Duty urged, 
"You are bound to Flora." Conscience suggested, "May you 
not have endangered Loo's peace of mind ? " 

He left the garden with an uncomfortable feeling that, do 
what he would, he must wrong somebody. That scheme of 
giving Loo a good education, upon which he had relied as a 
happy issue out of his difficulties, had been a failure. What 
else could he do to prove his friendship for this singular girl ? 
If she would not accept education from him, she would, of 
course, reject all pecuniary help. She would take nothing from 
him ; and he could not marry her. He must therefore leave her 
amidst the wretchedness in which he had discovered her, leave 
her with a keener appreciation of her misery. 

Loo was waiting for him in the room where they had dined, 
and the dog-cart was ready. He had but a glimpse of her face 
as they went out through the lamplit door of the inn, but he saw 
that she was very pale, and he fancied he saw traces of teara 
upon the anxious-looking face. 



110 Lost for Love. 

" Come, Loo, don't be down-hearted," he said ; " I thought 
you had more moral courage than to be afraid of a few cross 
words from your father, even if he should think we have stayed 
too late. I'll stand by you, come what may. Yes," he added, 
with a little gush of feeling, as he settled her comfortably by his 
side in the dog-cart, and wrapped her in the warm shaggy rug — 
" yes, dear, I'll be true to you, come what may." 

The words thrilled her. They had driven away from the inn, 
and were in a narrow bit of road, a mere lane leading up from 
that waterside tavern to the high-road, a dark bit of lane, shel- 
tered and shrouded by over-arching trees. His breath was on 
her cheek, his disengaged arm, which had been busy arranging 
that rug for her comfort, clasped her waist, and drew her sud- 
denly to him. Before she knew what was coming, his lips were 
on hers, in the first kiss of an irresistible love. 

In the next moment they were on the moonlit high-road, and 
Mr. Leyburne had concentrated his attention upon his horse. 

" You shouldn't have done that," said Loo, with a choking 
sound like a sob, as she readjusted her slightly disorganised 
bonnet. 

" Do you think I don't know that I shouldn't ? It was almost 
as bad as Paolo's kiss, and I deserve to float about in torment 
for it by-and-by — only with you, Loo. This shade should never 
leave you. Oh, Loo, why have you made yourself so dear to 
me ? I want to do my duty to you, to everybody. I am almost 
engaged to that dear little girl in Fitzroy- square. I can't tell 
you how good she is, how pure and innocent and confiding. I 
verily believe she thinks me a demi-god, and that she'd be mise- 
rable if I were to desert her." 

" Who wants you to desert her ? " demanded Loo, in a hard 
dry voice. " I'm sure I don't. If you wished even — which of 
course you don't — to make a fool of yourself for my sake, do you 
suppose I would let you ? I know too much of the world for 
that, though I have been brought up in Voysey-street. Don't 
let's talk nonsense any more, please, Mr. Leyburne. It was 
very mean of you to act like that just now; but I'm willing to 
pass it over, if it isn't repeated." 

" You say that almost like youi grandmother, Loo. There's 
a touch of the old lady's dignity. I won't offend you again ; it 
was the fault of the dark lane. But if you knew what I felt 
just then, I think you'd forgive me." 

" But I don't know, you see," remarked Loo. 

" I felt as if I could surrender all I care for most in the world 
for that one kiss — how much more easily for the sake of going 
through life with you for my companion ! I've been utterly 
happy to-day with you, darling. And yet, if I am to marry 
Flora, this ought to be our first and last day together. It's 



JLost for hove. Ill 

such a perilous happiness, Loo. I wouldn't wish the repetition 
of it." 

" If I'd thought you were going to talk to me like this, I 
•wouldn't have come with you," said Loo. 

How wildly her heart was beating all the time, and what ex- 
quisite joy she felt at the avowal her lips reproved I They were 
driving along the road between Thames Ditton and Kingston, 
the moonlit river flowing beside them ; on the other side villas, 
with a light gleaming here and there in upper windows, denoting 
that the inhabitants of this peaceful region had for the most part 
retired for the night. 

The horse flagged a little already, and Mr. Leyburne had to 
administer frequent encouragement with reins or whip. 

" I'm afraid this fellow's done up," he said. 

" Will he be very long getting us home P " asked Loo. 

" I hope not. I daresay he'll go better presently when he 
feels his feet under him." 

And in this hope they proceeded at a very moderate pace to- 
wards Kingston. 

Who would have wished to hasten that moonlight journey : 
through scenes which, always fair, assumed a dream -like beauty 
in this tender light ? Not Louisa assuredly, fearful though she 
felt of her father's probable anger. Not Walter, for this present 
hour was to him supremely delightful. The future was all cloud 
and perplexity, but the present was all-sufficing. They drov% 
through the silent market-town, where a light in the casement 
of a solitary gable alone gave token of life. They mounted the 
hill, and were again alone with nature. That Portsmouth road 
has a solemn look after snndown, densely wooded here and there, 
and with steep banks that rise from the roadside on either hand. 
Silence was round them ; they had night and the world all to 
themselves. Walter's lips, once loosened, were not easily locked, 
and between Kingston and Putney he had said everything which 
he had intended to leave unsaid. All his wise reflections in the 
inn-garden went for nothing. He poured his impassioned tale 
of a love that had stolen upon him unawares into Loo's too will- 
ing ear. The girl drank the poison, but showed more firmness 
and wisdom than her lover. By not a word did she betray the 
depth of her own feelings. 

" Upon my soul, you're as cold as ice, Loo," he said at last, 
angered by her remonstrances or her silence ; for she only spoke 
to reprove his folly. " One would think you were hardened in 
the ways of the world, and hadn't a spark of feeling left._ You 
might as well tell me if you care for me, or if I'm making an 
idiot of myself for nothing." 

" Tou shan't make me answer a question which you have no 
right to ask," Loo replied resolutely. " You promised to give 



112 jjost j or L.ove. 

me a day's pleasure in the country. Do you suppose I'd have 
come if I'd known you were going on at me like this? It's 
mean of you. If I could get out of the dog-cart and walk back 
to London, I'd do it." 

" Don't talk like that, Loo ; you don't know how it wounds 
me. I thought you cared for me — just a little. I shouldn't 
have humiliated myself if I hadn't thought so. Never mind ; 
1 won't say another word. I daresay Flora will marry me if I 
beg very hard." 

" Of course she will ; and she is the proper person for you to 
marry. Nobody ever doubted that. And you know you love 
her, and think her like some innocent spring flower, white and 
pure and delicate, too tender to be left alone in the hard rough 
world," said Loo with heroic unselfishness, reminding him of his 
own words. 

"Very well, Loo, since you wish it I'll say no more," he 
answered with dignity, and again devoted all his attention to 
the horse. 

That tired steed was in such sorry condition, that it was 
nearly two o'clock when they drove slowly down Voysey-street, 
making an awful hollow-sounding clatter upon the uneven 
stones ; Loo possessed by nameless fears. What would her 
father say to this post-midnight return ? How might he not 
abuse her? Too well did she know that hideous vocabulary 
which he employed in moments of passion. She trembled as 
they drew near the house, from whose blank windows shone no 
friendly gleam of light. 

There was no difficulty about holding the horse. That 
exhausted quadruped had little inclination to move, though he 
must have been sentient of the neighbourhood of his stable. 

Walter dismounted and rang .the bell, first cautiously, as to 
an ear awaiting the sound ; then, after a pause, with a louder 
appeal ; then still more loudly ; but after ten minutes' patient 
expectation no one had come to open the door. Loo's white 
face looked at him awfully. 

" Grandma must be asleep," she faltered. " Tou had better 
ring again." 

He had his hand upon the bell when the door opened suddenly 
with a jarring noise, and Jarred Gurner confronted him in a 
neglige costume, that was remarkable neither for cleanliness nor 
elegance. A dark red-flannel shirt open at the brawny swarthy 
neck, a pair of trousers tied round the waist with dirty cotton 
braces, bare feet, and tousled hair denoted a hurried rising from 
his bed. 

" Who's there ? " he demanded, not without an expletive. 

" Your daughter," answered Walter. " I'm sorry to have 
kept her out to such an unreasonable hour. We left Thames 



Lost for Love. 113 

Ditton in capital time; but that beast of a Horse was dead- 
beat." 

" Who did you say ? " asked Jarred, regardless of the explana- 
tion. 

" Come, Jarred, no nonsense. You're not going to be 
angry with your daughter for such a trifle — altogether my 
fault." 

" My daughter ! " echoed Jarred, with a strident laugh. 
" She's no daughter of mine. I don't deal in daughters who 
stay out with young men till two o'clock in the morning. Take 
the baggage away ; she's no business in this house." 

" Father ! " cried Loo, pushing past her defender, who had 
kept himself well in front of her till this moment ; " father ! " 
she cried, with piteous appeal, "you're not going to turn me out 
of doors ; you're not going to ruin my good name for ever ! 
Father ! " with tones that rose almost to a shriek as Jarred half 
shut the door against her, " you can't mean to shut me out ! 
What have I done to deserve it ? " 

" You best know that," he answered. " Let the gentleman 
who has kept you out till two o'clock find you a lodging in 
future." 

He shut the door with the last word. They heard the bolts 
pushed home, the rusty key turned, the chain put up — as if 
there were anything that needed the defence of bolts and bars in 
Jarred Gurner's domicile. 

Loo stood aghast upon the doorstep. Her father had been 
less abusive than his wont ; but he had done a thing which even 
her fears had never imagined. 

" Never mind that brute," said Walter, almost choking with 
anger. "I'll take you to some respectable hotel. Don't be 
frightened, Loo. I'll take as much care of you as if I were your 
elder brother." 

The girl planted herself on the doorstep, deadly pale, and 
with an angry light in her eyes. 

" I have a good mind to stay here all night," she said. " To 
think that he should turn against me like that — my own father ! 
And I've always been so fond of him ! " 

"He's a beast," exclaimed Walter; "and I daresay he was 
drunk." 

" No, he was sober," answered Loo ; " that's what I feel the 
hardest. If he'd been drinking, I shouldn't have minded so 
much ; I could have borne it better. But he was quite cool — he 
didn't even use bad language. What can he think of me to 
treat me so ? " demanded the girl passionately. 

" I tell you he's a beast," repeated Walter, who could not get 
beyond that point. " Don't let's worry ourselves about him. 
Jump into the dog-cart, Loo, and I'll drive you to some respect- 



114 Lost for Love. 

able hotel. There's a place I know in the Strand where they 
stop np late for travellers." 

" I won't stir out of Voysey-street," cried Loo with deter- 
mination. " What! go away with you after what he said to me ! 
I should like to stay on this doorstep all night, and for father to 
find me here to-morrow morning ; but I suppose the policeman 
wouldn't let me. I'll knock up Mrs. Murgis at the general- 
shop. Mary Murgis and I went to school together at Miss 
Peminto's over the way, and I know Mary will give me a night's 
shelter." 

"What's the good of a night's shelter? You can never go 
back to that house again." 

" Can't I ? It's the only home I have to go to. Do you 
think I'm going to be turned out of it in disgrace ? I'll go back 
the first thing to-morrow morning, please God, and have it out 
with father." 

" I tell you, Loo, it's impossible," cried the young man 
warmly. " Go back to that man's house after the insult he has 
just put upon you ! Tou shan't do it. I told you I would be 
true to you, come what might. Tou shall never cross that 
threshold again, Loo. I'll take lodgings for you to-morrow." 

" I've heard of that before," said Louisa in a freezing tone. 
" I've heard of people having lodgings taken for them, and 
sometimes of its going so far as a brougham and a pug-dog, 
I'd rather not, thank you ! " with asperity. 

Not a wild-wood blossom by any means, this young woman ; 
not a snowdrop, whose petals no poisonous breath had ever pol- 
luted ; but stanch and pure after her own fashion. 

" Loo ! " cried Walter indignantly, " do you think I am a 
scoundrel ? Do you suppose I could be guilty of one unworthy 
thought in such an hour as this ? " 

" I beg your pardon, Mr. Leyburne. I daresay you're good 
and true," the girl answered remorsefully; only I feel as if the 
world was all wickedness — when my own father, that I've 
worked and slaved for ever since I was a child, can cast me 
out." 

" You sha'n't go back to his house, Loo. Get a night's 
shelter from Miss — what's her name P — if you like. You shall 
go to a boarding-school to-morrow. You'll be safe there. And 
I'll go and tell your father where you are, and that you've done 
with him." 

" Done with him ! " the girl echoed plaintively. " There was 
a time when I thought the world was only father." 

Walter lost no time in knocking up Mrs. Murgis at her gene- 
ral-shop. It was a dingy passage enough into which he and 
Loo were admitted when Mrs. Murgis arose from dreams and 
came down to answer that importunate bell, sorely troubled by 



Lost for Love. 115 

fears of fire, or ill-news from her married daughter at Ball's- 
pond. But Mrs. Murgis was kind, and listened to Loo's sad 
tale with sympathetic "tat-tuts" and "you don't say so's," 
and said that she could have half Mary's bed, and welcome; 
and thus Loo was safely disposed of for the night. 

" You shall go to boarding-school to-morrow, whether you 
lite it or not, Loo," said the young man eagerly, at parting. 
" I look upon your father's infamous conduct as providential. 
Even your obstinacy can't hold out any longer." 

" I'll go to school if you like," answered Loo despondently. 
" It'll make things smooth, anyhow, and make the way clear 
for you to marry the young lady in Fitzroy-square. It can't 
much matter to anybody what becomes of me, when my own 
father doesn't care." 

" But it does matter very much to me, Loo," said Walter. 

They were in the dark passage just at the foot of a steep 
little staircase, which good-natured Mrs. Murgis had ascended 
to prepare for the unexpected guest, and Walter felt sorely 
tempted to repeat that sin of the shadowdy lane at Thames 
Ditton ; but if it had seemed to Loo a meanness then, it would 
surely seem meaner now. He refrained, therefore, and only 
pressed her hand with an honest brotherly squeeze. 

" Come what may, Loo," he said impressively, " remember 
I've promised to be true to you." 

And with that pledge he bade her " good-night," and went 
back to the patient quadruped, languishing for his stable. 



CHAPTER Xin. 

" Spring still makes spring in the mind 
When sixty years are told ; 
Love wakes anew this throbbing heart, 

And we are never old. 
Over the winter glaciers 
I see the summer glow, 
\na. through the wild-piled snowdrift 
The warm rose-buds below." 

Bhanscomb is not a fashionable watering-place ; there is neither 
pier nor band, nor has any joint-stock company yet been found 
eager to experiment on the capabilities of the situation by the 



116 Lost for Love. 

erection of a monster hotel eight stories high, with Louvre win- 
dows commanding the wide-stretching Channel and distant 
Atlantic. Branscomb still languishes in obscurity; no specu- 
lative charlatan has discovered the peculiar balm of its atmo- 
sphere, and published it to the world as an elysium in whose calm 
breast lurk healing and the renewal of life. Branscomb pro- 
duces nothing except a little lace — the patient work of women 
and children — is celebrated for nothing. Nobody, in the ac- 
cepted sense of the word, was ever born at Branscomb. The 
name of the village figureth not in the Biographical Dictionary. 
Nothing ever comes from Branscomb. There is not so much as 
a ruined castle, historically famous, in the shadow of whose 
walls the frivolous may pic-nic. One dilapidated martello 
tower alone marks the landscape. Why built, it is rather 
difficult to imagine ; for it is hardly within the limits of the 
possible that any hostile invader would ever essay to land at 
Branscomb. The cliffs are bold and high, of a dark red clay, 
rugged and crumbling-looking, as if of so loose a fabric that 
they might slip down into the ocean at any moment with 
briefest warning. Irregular in outline, grandly picturesque, is 
that western seaboard, while the inland landscape is fair as 
paradise. 

Pishing is the chief, or iildeed the only, resource of Branscomb. 
The village proper, the original Branscomb, ,'s but a collection of 
fishermen's huts and a public-house or two. That Branscomb 
which visitors affect, and which calls itself a watering place, 
boasts a little bit of Parade, bounded by a roughly built sea-wall, 
a dozen or so of smallish, lowish houses, with bow-windows, 
much wooden balcony and verandah, and gardens abutting on 
the Parade. On the higher ground beyond this spot certain 
adventurous builders, oppressed with the builder's speculative 

Eropensity and with no more promising field for its exercise, 
ave tacked on a few meagre villas, standing desolate in quar- 
ter-acre enclosures, which neither cultivation nor climate has 
educated into gardens. There is the beginning of a terrace — 
five slim bow-windowed houses breasting the stormy winds on 
the rise of a hill ; houses inhabited by the wealthier of the 
fishermen, whosa wives and families subside into kitchens and 
onthouses whenever Fortune favours them with lodgers. All 
the year round the fly-blown cards hang in the parlour-win- 
dows, but only in the glare and blaze of the summer solstice 
come visitors to Branscomb. Then perchance a few families 
from Long Sutton enliven the scene ; troops of noisy children, 
who revel on the beach and scare the seagulls with their still 
harsher voices; a pair or two of maiden sisters, who pace 
meekly up and down the narrow path atop of the rugged 
cliff, and sniff the briny breezes from the Atlantic, and con- 



Lost for Love. 117 

eratulate themselves on the acquisition of a store of health, to 
be put away, like the household linen or the best glass and 
thina, for future use. 

Ocean's strand at Branscomb is hard and stony. There is no 
Btretch of level sand for the delight of youth and infancy, no 
chalky cave where young mothers can sit and gossip and make 
pinafores, while their little ones raise those frail and perishable 
castles which seem fit types of future endeavour and its vain 
result. The friendly homely beauties of Ramsgate and Broad- 
stairs are not here ; but in their stead a certain wild pictur- 
esqueness, a certain rugged grandeur, not without its charm . 

The Branscomb season — that halcyon period when the 
Parade and the five villas and the six houses in the terrace 
are wont to brim over with human life, and the local butcher 
will display as many as six legs of mutton pendent from hia 
grim array of iron hooks o na Saturday morning — had not yet 
begun. The local grocer, stationer, linendraper, and fancy- 
repositor had not yet ordered his summer stock of one dozen 
pairs buff boots, thirteen as twelve. The two bathing-machines 
which enjoyed a monopoly of the Branscomb bathers still 
hibernated in the darkness of their winter shed. In a word, 
Branscomb had not yet awakened. Mr. Topsaw, the Long 
Sutton auctioneer, land-surveyor, and house-agent, had there- 
fore ample room and verge enough for his selection of a 
house adapted to the requirements — to use Mr. Topsaw's fa- 
miliar phrase — of a gentleman of property and his daughter, 
and affording accommodation for the gentleman of property's 
friends. Under these fortunate circumstances, Mr. Topsaw 
naturally chose the most expensive of the villas, and took care 
to inform the proprietress thereof that terms were not a con- 
sideration to the gentleman of property; his own profit by 
the transaction being five per cent, on the entire rental, to say 
nothing of the promise of a sovereign down on the nail, which 
Mr. Topsaw extorted from the lone widow who kept the house, 
by way of " dowser," as he expressed it, as a mark of gratitude 
for his selection of her above her fellows, when he had the 
world of Branscomb all before him where to choose, and might 
bo easily have carried the sunshine of his favour elsewhere. 

It appears in the common order of things that _ when a 
variety of detached dwellings besprinkle the outskirts of a 
town or village, the dwelling last erected and farthest from 
the station, if station there be, and all other amenities of the 
settlement, is the largest and most architecturally pretentious 
of the number. 

This was the case with Branscomb. Its ultima thule was a 
stuccoed villa of the Italian gothic order, surmounted by a 
campanile tower, whose sides were open to the winds of heaven, 



118 Lost for Love, 

and whose roof had been copied from the tender simplicity of 
an extinguisher. The house stood higher than its neighbours, 
on a road that ascended gradually from the low-lying village to 
the level of the cliff, divided from its margin by a cornfield. 
There was a garden, or arid tract of land, which grew wall- 
flowers, stocks, a scanty herbage that passed for grass, and 
in their due season marigolds and mignonette; one lonely 
monthly rose languished against the stuccoed wall, and by way 
of wood a belt of scanty bushes of the coniferous or sea-side 
tribe, shaped like the plumes that adorn a hearse, had been 
planted within the open iron-rail that divided the grounds from 
the dusty road. This domain, which did not boast as much 
cedar as would have made a pencil, nevertheless derived its 
name from that stately tree, and was called the Cedars. 

Remote and solitary as the place was, it enchanted Flora. It 
was at least different from Fitzroy-square ; that vast sweep of 
ocean with its infinite variety refreshed her eye as water-pools 
restore the traveller in Arabian deserts. She declared herself 
enraptured, and showered grateful kisses upon her father's 
grizzled hair, as he sat by the drawing-room window— the 
summer merit of the Cedars consisted in its walls being almost 
entirely window — and rested after a fifteen-miles coach-journey 
from Long Sutton. 

" How good of you to come here, papa," she exclaimed; "and 
how clever of you to think of Branscomb, instead of letting me 
drag you off to Brittany or somewhere, tiring you to death with 
steamers, and rails, and diligences, and goodness knows what ! 
I should think this must be quite as good as Brittany— as wild, 
and grand, and picturesque. Of course there are cathedrals 
there, and ruins, I suppose, and so on, for people to rush about 
and explore ; but we can do very well without cathedrals, can't 
we, papa P or if we have a sudden yearning for gothic archi- 
tecture, we can go to Rougement for a day or two. Now, 
dearest father, say you are pleased with Branscomb, and that 
it's just as nice to-day as when you were a boy." 

She said this with that tender anxious air which had become 
almost habitual to her of late in her intercourse with her father. 
A sad foreboding of sorrow to come had been creeping gra- 
dually home to her loving heart ; the fact of her father's altered 
health had become a stern reality beyond his power of conceal- 
ment. That he was weaker than of old, more easily tired, more 
subject to pain, were bitter truths he could no^'longer hide from 
the keen eyes of love. But the worst Flora knew not. She 
knew not that her father's life hung by a thread, and that any 
moment of the long summer day might be his last. She 
thought him changed, grown so much older in one short year, 
but she tried to believe that this was but the natural decline of 



Lost for Love. 119 

the strong man's life, only the beginning of a long old age. 
Night and day she prayed God to spare him — to spare him for 
years to come, for all the days of her life ; she could not imagine 
her life without him. Was it possible she could live, leave him 
lying in his narrow grave, hidden from the sunshine and the 
glory of the universe, and go on living, and even find some 
kind of happiness without him ? She remembered one of the 
girls at Miss Mayduke's, whose father had died suddenly, and 
who had come back to school a few weeks afterwards in her 
black frocks. She had cried a good deal at first, in the dismal 
twilight interval between the studies, and at night in the dor- 
mitory ; but her tears seemed to dry quickly enough, and she 
learnt her lessons, and ate her dinner, and looked forward to the 
holidays, just the same as the rest, and her voice soon grew 
loud and clamorous in the playground, like the other voices. 

Dr. Ollivant enjoyed Branscomb almost as heartily as Flora. 
He seemed a new man now that he had escaped from the scien- 
tific atmosphere of Wimpole-street; all the more so, perhaps, 
because he had also escaped from the society of Walter Ley- 
burne, whose demonstrative youth had weighed him down a 
little, perpetually suggesting unpleasant comparisons, continu- 
ally reminding him how he had let youth and all its opportu- 
nities of happiness slip by. A bitter thought, that, of one crisis 
in our fives when supreme happiness was just within our reach, 
and by the sheer perversity and triviality of youth we let it slip. 
A thought to brood over in after years with deepest remorse, 
with grief unspeakable ; yes, verily, " a sorrow's crown of 
sorrow." 

But Dr. Ollivant's memory could recall no such hour. He 
only reflected that youth was a wonderful and beautiful thing, 
and that he had sacrificed it upon the altar of science. He 
had put aside his youth altogether — bartered it, like Esau's 
birthright, for his favourite mess of pottage. He had won 
the great race by this very sacrifice; had outstripped the 
footsteps of his contemporaries, and placed himself in the 
ranks of eminent and successful men, who were from ten to 
twenty years his senior. Only he had paid the price. He 
had never allowed himself the relaxations or the affections of 
youth. 

Not until of late had the knowledge of his loss come home 
to him. But seeing what a bright thing youth appeared in 
this stranger, he began to ask himself whether he had not been 
cheated out of a gift that was almost divine. 

" If I had known Flora Chamney ten years ago," he thought, 
"if Fate had made us contemporaries, how different my life 
might have been ! " 

There were moments — brief intervals of infatuation no doubt 



120 Lost jor Love. 

— in which lie used to ask himself if it were really too late ; if 
he might not yet enter the lists with this younger and more 
attractive rival. Nothing definite had been said as yet; he 
knew that from Mark. The young man had hung back some- 
what strangely, as it seemed to the fond father. 

" And yet I'll answer for it he loves her," said Mark, in his 
impetuous way. 

"He would be something less, or more, than human if he 
did not," answered the doctor. 

But that purblind father drew no inference from the speech. 
He had set his heart upon seeing Walter and Flora married. 
The union would be perfect, like a marriage in a fairy tale. 
The idea that human passion could stir the breast of this 
grave pale doctor, with his deep-set thoughtful eyes, never 
entered Mr. Ohamney's mind. 

The doctor made the most of his holiday. After all, happi- 
ness is a thing of the present, and a man might be happy the 
day before his execution if the companion his soul loved dearest 
cheered him in his lonely cell. They chartered a fishing-boat, 
put up a rough awning to shelter them from the sun, and sailed 
merrily over those blue waters from after breakfast till dinner- 
time. When Mark was tired, they made him lie down upon 
a luxurious bed of sail-cloth and carriage-rugs, and Flora read 
Shelley or Browning to him. 

" I can't say I quite understand what they're driving at," he 
said ; " but it's certainly soothing." Whereupon he would 
compose himself to slumber ; and then, after a couple of pages 
or so, Flora would tire of Alastor, or Epipsychidion, and close 
her book, and talk to Dr. Ollivant. 

It was curious to discover how little the doctor knew or cared 
about those modern singers, with whose music Walter Ley- 
burne, was so familiar. But then, on the other hand, he had 
read Shakespeare and some of his contemporaries with pro- 
foundest love, and had Homer in his heart of hearts. 

" I thought you never read anything but medical and sci- 
entific books ? " the girl said wonderingly, after he had opened 
the treasure-house of his memory for her entertainment. 

"I very rarely do now. I had a passion for those Eliza- 
bethan poets when I was a lad, and for Homer. I think I 
half lived in the old Greek world — a fairyland of dreams — till 
I began to see that science is something nobler than the 
memory of the past. I have Shakespeare and Homer in my 
consulting-room, and take down a volume once in a way, when 
I am more than usually tired; but that doesn't happen often. 
The inconvenience I most suffer from is want of time, not 
flagging attention ; though, by the way, my thoughts have 
gone astray sorely lately." He said these last words with a 



Lost for Love. 121 

regretful look at that innocent young face turned to him so 
frankly. Ah, what pain she gave him by that too candid 
friendliness, which told him he might be never more than 
friend ! 

" Of course," exclaimed Flora eagerly, " you are over-worked ; 
papa is always saying so. See what harm he has done himself 
by working so hard in the prime of his life, though he will get 
over all that, and grow quite strong again by-and-by, please 
God. You ought not to slave like that, Dr. Ollivant. It is 
all very well when one is young, but as one grows older " 

" I promise to relax my labours somewhat when I am old," 
said the doctor ; " but I can hardly claim the privilege of age 
yet awhile. Ancient as I doubtless appear to your young eyes, 
I am not forty." 

" Indeed !" said Flora. She had the vaguest estimate of the 
various stages of life — whether a man were old at forty or only 
began to be old at sixty. In her juvenile imagination life after 
thirty was but a down-hill progress. Youth and good looks, 
with most things that sweeten life, disappear behind the crest 
of that hill which youth climbs so gaily. She could hardly 
imagine what the journey was like on the other side. She 
wondered a little at the doctor's half-complaining tone, as he 
must surely have put away all youthful aspirations ever so long 
ago. 

" Was it too late?" he asked himself sometimes, with a wild 
flash of hope. 

She listened with rapt attention when he talked to her. His 
conversation at least could charm her. She was even interested 
in his career — curious about that laborious youth which he had 
spent in parish drudgery or in foreign hospitals. Then he opened 
his heart and mind for her, and painted a life that was not alto- 
gether unheroic, not without some human interest; but not a 
whisper, not a breath of youth's enchantment, nothing of 
love or woman's loveliness. 

Once, deeming him so far removed from herself by reason of 
his advanced years, she was bold enough to ask a question that 
to him was startling : 

" In all you tell me, you have never mentioned " she began 

rather shyly, and then was obliged to reconstruct her sentence : 
" I wonder that in all your travels you never met any one — 
whom you — whom you cared for well enough to marry." 

He looked at her with that strange half-bitter look whose 
meaning she could not read. 

" Curious," he said, " wasn't it? Curious that I didn't tread 
the beaten track : fall in love with some respectable young 
woman at twenty ; marry at twenty-three ; go back to Long 
Sutton, and set up as a family practitioner ; walk in the foot- 



122 Lost for Love. 

steps of my father, in short ; and look forward with placid 
resignation to the day when my name should be written under 
his on the family tombstone. I daresay after all that is the 
happiest manner of life, if modern youth could only put aside 
its passionate aspirations for something better. After all, are 
not the lives of all men written in water ? Our petty struggles 
to win fame are, for the most part, futile, or the reward of our 
labours as perishable as the Grecian's crown of wild olive. Yet 
perhaps a doctor, whose life is in a manner a hand-to-hand 
conflict with the great mystery of pain, may take a purer plea- 
sure out of his smallest victories than the man who wastes his 
nights in verse-writing, or his days in painting pictures which 
could have been painted better three hundred years ago. Our 
profession," with some touch of pride, " is at least progressive.'' 

"It is a noble profession," said Flora, " and I can't wonder 
you are proud of it. But please don't run down our poor 
painters, even if Eaffaelle and Titian did paint better. They 
had popes, and emperors, and people, you know, to encourage 
them. I hope you don't despise painters." 

" Hardly. Yet I confess there seems to me something rather 
ignoble in any profession which produces only ornament — a life 
entirely given to the cultivation of fancy." 

" But you haven't told me why you didn't marry ? " 

" First, because I put the marriage question out of my mind 
altogether when I took up the profession of medicine." 

" What, made up your mind to be an old bachelor ! " 

"No! but made up my mind to succeed in my profession 
before I ventured to contemplate the idea of marriage." 

"Ah," said Flora, with a compassionate sigh, "that was a 
pity, because " 

" Because what ? " he asked, when she stopped in the middle 
of her sentence. 

" Because it takes such a long time to succeed in any profes- 
sion, and — please don't be offended if I say anything that 
sounds rude — by the time a man has succeeded, he must be an 
old bachelor." 

"An old bachelor! I suppose, now, in your mind that 
means any one on the wrong side of thirty ? " 

" Why, yes ; at Miss Mayduke's we used to call thirty old ; 
but I daresay that's only a schoolgirl's notion." 

" Do you think it quite preposterous, now, for a man of my 
age, much nearer forty than thirty, to have some idea of 
marriage ? " 

" Not at all," she exclaimed eagerly, and a gleam of gladness 
shot into the doctor's dark eyes, "provided you married a 
suitable person." 

The pleased look faded as quickly as it had come. 



Lost for Love. 123 

" What do you mean by a suitable person ? Some one of my 
own ape, I suppose." 

" Of your own age, or a few years younger. Not an old 
maid, with disagreeable prim ways, or a cat and a parrot : 
but some charming widow. There was a widow who had two 
daughters at Miss Mayduke's ; her husband had been in the 
China trade — silk, or tea, or something. She used to dress so 
stylishly." 

" Thanks. I abhor stylish widows. If I were forced to make 
an election between two evils, I would rather have the old maid 
with her cat and parrot. I should have a greater chance of 
peace. No, Flora, I will never marry, unless " 

" Unless what ? " 

" Unless I can love, and be loved again." 

Flora twirled the leaves of her book, and gave another little 
compassionate sigh, faint as the summer breath that stirs a 
fallen rose-leaf. 

Poor infatuated man ! She was really sorry for him. As if 
any one could win all the brightest things of earth, and, after 
having given his youth to the swift race for fame, turn back and 
say, " 0, but I also desire the joys of the rose-garden ! " Why, 
the end of the race leaves him far off in the bleak desert, the 
shingly Patagonian waste of middle age, where there is no rose- 
garden. 

She felt a curious, half-scornful, half-tender pity for the grave 
doctor after this, and thought more of him and his lonely life 
than she had thought until now, wondering whether he would 
ever see any one of a suitable age, whom he could like ; trying 
to imagine what kind of sentiment love must be between people 
who were past thirty ; whether the gentleman would write 
romantic love-letters, and the lady would blush and tremble at 
his footsteps just the same as in youth. She could not imagine 
anything so incongruous as middle age and romance ; she could 
only picture the courtship a business transaction, the marriage 
a sober prosaic affair, the bride dressed in silver-gray silk. Feel- 
ing therefore the utter impossibility of the doctor ever finding 
his way back to the rose-garden, she was particularly kind to 
him — dangerously, fatally kind — for she inflamed his passion to 
fever-point. 



124 Lost for Love. 



CHAPTER XIV. 

" It is a painful fact, but there is no denying it, the mass are the tools of cir- 
cumstances : thistledown on the breeze, straw on the river, their course is shaped 
for them by the currents and eddies of the stream of life." 

The Chamneys had been more than a fortnight at Branscomb, 
and Mr. Leyburne had not yet made his appearance. Flora 
began to feel deeply wounded by such persistent neglect. The 
doctor had been twice to and fro between London and the little 
Devonshire watering-place. While he could do so much for 
friendship and " auld lang syne," for the remembrance of those 
boyish days when Mark Chamney had been his champion and 
protector, Walter could make no sacrifice, take no trouble. And 
yet she had dared to think he would have been moved by a 
warmer feeling than friendship. 

" After all, I must have made a mistake," she said to herself 
with a regretful sigh, as she put on her coquettish little hat to 
go for a seaside ramble with the indefatigable doctor, who had 
only come down from London that afternoon, and yet was ready 
for an evening walk ; "I have been deceived by the kindness 
of his manner, that flattering manner which evidently means 
nothing. What should a poor little schoolgirl know about a 
young man's feelings ? We never saw any young men at Miss 
Mayduke's, except the drawing-master, who must have been 
thirty if he was a day ; and we were always making mistakes 
about him. I know Cecilia Todd fancied he was breaking his 
heart for her, till he calmly announced to us one morning that 
he had been engaged for the last five years to the music-mistress 
in a school at Highbury." 

It was not without a good many gentle sighs that Flora 
resigned herself to the idea that Mr. Leyburne had never cared 
very much about her ; that he only regarded her as a young 
person whose company was agreeable enough to amuse the 
leisure of an idle evening, and no more. Even after she had 
settled this matter in her own mind, she found herself just as 
anxious about the arrival of the London express — or rather the 
blundering, rumbling old coach which brought passengers from 
the Long Sutton station— just as expectant of a lightly-built, 
active-looking figure ascending the steep road that climbed the 
cliff to the Cedars. She looked out for him every day, from the 



Lost for Love. 125 

gothic window of her bleak little dressing-room; and Branscomb 
seemed less beautiful, and yonder waste of waters less magni- 
ficent every evening, when the passengers from the coach had 
had time to go their several ways, and still Walter came not. 

" I should have thought he would have hated London in such 
weather as this, and would have seized upon any excuse to get 
away from it," mused Flora ; " those grimy old streets — those 
everlasting squares — that smoky atmosphere ! Who would stay 
in London when the woods are full of flowers, and the sea 
changes colour every hour with the changing sky ? A painter, 
too, who ought to be so fond of Nature. It's all very well to 
talk about finishing his picture ; but now the Academy is open 
there can be no reason for his being in a hurry. He can't 
exhibit the picture before next year." 

Mr. Chamney expressed his wonder at the young man's non- 
appearance, and those remarks of his were somehow painful to 
Flora. She felt as if it were her fault that Walter Leyburne 
was so slow to come. If she had been prettier or more attrac- 
tive, she told herself, he would not have been such a laggard. 
Her father had hinted his wish about Walter too broadly for her 
to be unaware of that fancy. She knew that he would have 
liked Walter Leyburne to fall in love with her ; that he had 
given the young man every encouragement to avow himself. It 
was humiliating to think that he had hoped in vain ; that she 
lacked the power to win the lover her father would have chosen 
for her. 

" I'm a poor little insignificant-looking thing," she said, as she 
contemplated her small face in the glass— a face whose beauty 
was pale and delicate as the loveliness of a wood anemone, a 
little white flower that a child would tread upon unawares while 
darting after a tall gaudy foxglove. Flora saw no charm in the 
small oval face, the tender gray eyes with their dark lashes, the 
little cupid's-bow mouth ; she felt that she lacked the splendour 
of beauty which a painter would naturally require in the object of 
his adoration. What was she compared with Gulnare the magni- 
ficent? that Gulnare whose dark and florid charms, eyes big as 
saucers, lips carmine and pouting, she had copied in crayons. She 
felt herself a very poor creature indeed, and wondered that she 
had ever been so foolish as to fancy Walter could care for her. 

This conviction had taken deep root, when one warm June 
evening brought a glad surprise to dispel it. They had been for 
a long drive to Didmouth — a sister watering-place, with greater 
pretensions both to beauty and fashion than humble Branscomb. 
The doctor had been with them, the day lovely, and they had 
dawdled away a couple of hours pleasantly enough, lunching at 
the hotel by the beach, and strolling through the one narrow 
street, Flora stopping every now and then to look at the lace 



126 



jjost jor -ijove. 



in rustic shop windows — lace which Mark was ever ready to 
buy for his little girl. "What could be too good or too rare for 
her who was all the world to him ? 

They had stayed out rather later than usual, and the sun was 
low when their hired wagonette, a homely vehicle, drove up the 
hill to the Cedars. Leaning upon the gate, with folded arms 
and cigar in mouth, was a figure Mora knew but too well. Her 
heart gave a leap at sight of him. All the face of creation 
changed and brightened in a moment, glorified by Hope's su- 
pernal light. She had given him up; she had told herself 
that he cared nothing for her, set no value even on her sisterly 
friendship, had never dreamt of winning her love. His presence 
seemed to falsify all her forebodings. She accepted it at once 
as the promise of happiness. He cared for her a little — nay, 
perhaps even loved her — or he would hardly be there. 

His attitude was the perfection of comfortable laziness ; arms 
loosely folded, eyes gazing seaward, cigar-smoke curling upward 
in blue wavelets against the rosy evening light. His gaze was 
so intent upon yonder expanse of ocean, his thoughts so com- 
pletely abstracted, that he did not even hear the wheels of the 
wagonette — 'did not look up till it stopped in front of him. 
Then, indeed, he was all smiles and brightness, made haste to 
open the gate, assisted Flora to alight, and shook hands effu- 
sively with Mr. Chamney. 

"I thought you had forgotten all about us," said Mora's 
father, a little wounded by his neglect. 

"No, indeed; but I've had so much to do, and I've been 
rather worried." 

" Tou look like it. Late hours, I daresay, young gentleman. 
Never mind ; you'll leave off that sort of thing when you've a 
nice little wife to keep you in order." 

Walter coloured like a girl, and stole a guilty look at innocent 
Mora, whose face was radiant with happiness. No one could 
mistake that expression; no one could misread the deep joy 
shining out of those clear eyes. Dr. Ollivant had seen her face 
light up just now, and knew what that happy look meant. 
What would he not have given to have caused that brightness P 
What sacrifice would he have counted too costly ? 

" Indeed I did not forget your kind invitation, Mr. Chamney," 
pleaded Walter ; " but I couldn't get away sooner. I had one 
or two little bits of business to settle before I could leave 
London." 

" Business ! One would think you were a merchant. How- 
ever, here you are. We must be satisfied if we get the leavings 
of your time, mustn't we, Flora? " added Mark, with a touch of 
bitterness. 

" Of course, papa. Mr. Leyburne has his profession to think 



Lost for Love. 127 

of before everything," replied Flora in a sweet excusing tone, as 
if she could have forgiven anything in this modern Raffaelle. 

Walter coloured again. He had not touched a brush since 
the Chamneys left town. 

" Dear Miss Chamney," he said, " you are always so good. I 
should be miserable if your papa thought I did not value his 
invitation and the privilege of being down here. Honestly, I 
could not come sooner." 

" My dear fellow, do you suppose any one doubts your word P " 
said Mark heartily. 

Some one did doubt it — the doctor, whose watchful eye had 
noted the young man's embarrassment, that red flag of distress 
which he had hung out more than once during this brief dia- 
logue. 

" There's something not quite right here," thought Cuthbert 
Ollivant. " A pity, since this foolish child is so fond of him." 

After this they went indoors and sat down to a comfortable 
tea-dinner, and every one seemed happy. Walter rattled almost 
as gaily as of old in the oheerful Fitzroy-square evenings. 
Flora sat between her father and the new arrival, Dr. Ollivant 
opposite. The table was small, and they made the snuggest 
possible family party ; the doctor carving, and making himself 
generally useful, but not talking very much, not by any means 
so eloquent as he had been wont to be when they were only a 
trio. But no one marked the change. Mr. Chamney leaned 
back in his easy-chair, sipping his tea, and watching and listen- 
ing to the two young people. It was so pleasant to him to hear 
their fresh young voices, to sun himself in their smiles and glad 
looks. And Walter, who had little more resistance than a bright 
water-fiower, which moves with every motion of the stream 
whereon it grows, suffered himself to be beguiled by the in- 
fluence of the hour, and behaved just as if there had been no 
such person as Loo in existence ; as if that moonlit journey 
from Thames Ditton had been nothing more than a dream. 

Flora had hired a piano, of course, being as little able to exist 
without music of some kind as the canaries to dispense with 
their daily rations of birdseed. After tea they went to work 
at the old duets, the tender bits of Mozart, the old-fashioned 
English ballads which seemed to have been composed on pur- 
pose for Flora, so exquisitely did that fresh young voice express 
words and melody. Flora's singing was the one fascination 
which Walter could not resist. Her talk was not so vigorous 
or amusing as Loo's, her beauty far less striking or varied; but 
her song never failed to enrapture him. While he listened he 
was her slave. Mark Chamney sat at the open window, half in 
and half out of the room, smoking his cigar, and listening con- 
tentedly to his little girl's singing. He did not know that it 



128 Lost for Love. 

was absolutely perfect of its kind. He only knew that it was 
just the kind of singing he best liked. 

It gave him unspeakable happiness to see those two together 
again, and to fancy that the link which he had dreamed of 
between them was as strong as ever. He had been unhappy at 
the young man's apparent hanging back; but he, like Flora, 
accepted his coming as a sign of loyalty and devotion. 

" How could he help loving my little girl ? " thought 
Mark. 

After the singing, Flora, who was now in the highest spirits, 
took "Walter to see her new domain — the garden which grew so 
little, the wall which was to be covered with myrtle and roses 
when they came back to Branscomb next year ; for they meant 
to come, Flora told Mr. Leyburne ; they liked Branscomb too 
well to be tired of it in a single summer. 

" Tou can join us in our ramble if you like, Dr. Ollivant," 
she said graciously ; and then, feeling that she had been some- 
what neglectful of her father's friend since Walter's arrival, she 
added an entreaty : " Do come, please, and help me to illustrate 
the beauties of Branscomb. They call it illustration, don't 
they, at the panoramas ? Do come with us, Dr. Ollivant." 

What could he do but obey ? 

" Being your slave, what should I do but tend upon the hours 
and times of your desire ? " he said with a light laugh, and 
flung away his half-smoked cigar, and gave Flora his arm, as 
much as to say, " If I go with you I will have something." 

Walter could not very well ask for the other arm, which 
would have seemed like pinioning such a poor little thing as 
Flora. So he strolled by her side, and they crossed the moonlit 
grass — the moon had grown old and young again since Loo's 
day in the country — and went along by the edge of the cliff, upon 
a narrow path that had a delightfully dangerous look, and pro- 
menaded the little bit of parade, where Flora made Walter 
admire the quaint old wooden houses, with no two windows 
alike, twinkling gaily with lights ; for visitors had now begun 
to arrive at Branscomb for the bathing season. Then she took 
him down to the pebbly beach, which was loose and uncomfort- 
able for the feet, but infinitely picturesque — a broken irregular 
line of beach, making a shallow bay — with fishermen's boats 
and tackle scattered about in every direction, and the whitest, 
most rustic of coastguard stations standing boldly out on a 
little promontory in the distance. 

"You'll paint some delightful sea-pieces, won't you?" asked 
Flora. "Dear little fisher-boys and fisher-girls with ruddy 
complexions and big feet and hands, and their mouths open as 
if they were in the act of swallowing the sea-breeze, and a salt 
sea-weedy look about everythinsr," 



Lost for Love. 129 

" Thanks," said Walter with his languid air ; unless I felt 
pretty sure of becoming a Hook or a 8tanfield, I couldn't give 
my mind to sea-scapes, or fishermen's boys, or brown-sailed 
luggers, or any of those varieties of sea-coast life which people 
so keenly appreciate in every exhibition of pictures." 

" I forgot; you are going to be a Holman Hunt or a Millais." 
said Flora, with a shade of disappointment. It would have 
been so nice to sit on the beach all through the sunny morning, 
sheltered by a canvas umbrella, watching Walter sketch, and 
improving herself by his example. " I tried to sketch by 
myself," she said dolefully, " when we first came. But my sea 
used to get so muddy, and my skies would come out like mottled 
soap, so I gave it up in despair." 

" You dear foolish child," said Walter sagely — he had come 
to Branscomb sternly resolved to treat Flora in all things as a 
child, a sweet younger sister, and to go back unfettered and un- 
committed — " why are you always dabbling in colours, instead 
of trying to master the difficulties of form ? I thought you 
were going to work at that cast of a foot I gave you." 

" That big, muscular, plaster-of-paris foot ! " sighed Flora. 
" I did work at it honestly for the first few days ; I did it in 
ever so many positions. But feet are so uninteresting, and 
there was the sea looking lovely before my windows, and moist 
colours are so tempting, I couldn't help trying my hand at the 
little fisher boats, and the blue dancing waves ! " 

They left the beach, and peeped at the small original Brans- 
comb, the fishermen's cottages sunk below the level of the road, 
which had risen with the march of ages, reducing the cottage 
parlours to cellars. It was all quaintly ancient and picturesque; 
and Walter owned that, for any painter who did not aspire to 
the classic, Branscomb would be full of subject. 

" It's just the place for a man who wants to paint pot-boilers," 
he said. " There's not a corner of the village that wouldn't 
make a little rustic bit which would be a safe five-and-twenty 
guineas before the first week in May was out. But, thank 
Heaven and my uncle Ferguson, I can get on without pot- 
boilers. I'll do a little picture for your father, though, Flora, if 
you think he'd like it — a souvenir of Branscomb." 

" Of course he'd like it. He'd be charmed with it. How good 
of you to think of such a thing ! " exclaimed Flora. " And now 
we must go home, or papa will be sitting up too late." 

This was the beginning of a fortnight of summer days, in 
which Flora was completely happy. 

Dr. Ollivant went back to his duties the day after Walter's 
arrival, promising to return in a fortnight, and making as light 
of the journey as if it had been the hour and a quarter between 
London and Brighton. Dr. Ollivant departed, but he was not 

I 



130 



Miosi jor jjove. 



essential to Flora's happiness. She was indeed happier without 
him, now that she had Walter for her companion ; for she was 
dimly conscious that, let the doctor be never so civil, he was not 
the less antagonistic to Mr. Leyburne. Cynical speeches seemed 
to slide unawares from those thin firm lips ; nay, by a simple 
elevation of the eyebrows the doctor's expressive face could indi- 
cate how poorly he thought of this paragon of youths. Flora 
felt it a relief, therefore, to be alone with Walter and her father, 
to feel that there was no element of cynicism or disbelief in the 
painter's genius, or the painter's future, among them. 

So they sailed upon that summer sea, or went for long excur- 
sions in the wagonette, exploring every nook and corner of the 
country, or they dawdled away the long sunlit days on the beach, 
reading, sketching, dozing. Mr. Chamney, at least, got rid of a 
considerable portion of the summer afternoons in placid slumber; 
while Walter and Flora sat beside him talking, or reading poetry 
in low monotonous murmurs, slumberous as the gentle plash of 
wavelets against the beach. This holiday of mind and hand, 
this utter idleness beside the sea, seemed sweeter than any leisure 
Walter had ever known. He was not in love with Flora — -he 
reminded himself of that fact half a dozen times a day with a 
remorseful pang, when he had been betrayed into some lover-like 
speech, which was calculated to mislead this tender innocent who 
loved him so well. He knew that he was very dear to her ; he 
bad read the secret a hundred times in the artless face, had been 
told it over and over again by the artless lips. 

" She is the dearest little girl in the world," he said to him- 
self, " and Chamney is a dear old fellow, and I'm bound to marry 
her." 

And then there flashed back upon him the vision of that 
moonlit road between Kingston and Wimbledon, and memory 
recalled the words he had said to Louisa Gurner, the stolen 
kiss in the lane, those deep dark eyes into which he had looked 
for one passionate moment with love that recked not of worldly 
wisdom's restraining power — love which in that one moment 
had been master of his soul — love before whose fierce tide all 
barriers of circumstance had gone down. He remembered Loo, 
and it seemed a hard thing to forsake her ; poor Loo, who had 
been turned out of her wretched home for his sake, perchance 
with blighted name; for the social law of Voysey-street upon 
the subject of reputation was stern as the laws of Belgravia. 
Black sheep lived there and were tolerated ; but the mark once 
set upon them remained indelible, and they were only tolerated 
in their character of black sheep, and had to suffer the sting of 
sarcastic reference to past peccadilloes upon the smallest provo- 
cation. 

Loo had suffered in her tenderest feeling — her love for her 



Lost for Love. 13 L 

reprobate father. Loo had possibly suffered the loss of that irre- 
coverable treasure, woman's good name. Mr. Leyburne had 
done his best for her, after his lights, by placing her forthwith 
in the care of the Miss Tompions of Thurlow House, Kensington, 
where she was to be thoroughly grounded in all the branches of 
a useful modern education. He had told the elder Miss Tompion 
that he intended his protegee to remain in her care three years, 
and that lady had assured him of her power to impart a sound 
education in that period, and to qualify her pupil for the post ol 
governess to children under twelve years of age. 

" Accomplishments," said Miss Tompion, " are flowers of slow 
growth ; but if Miss Gurner have a taste for music " 

" She has ! " cried Walter eagerly. 

" She may be able to impart instruction in music to girls of 
twelve after three years' painstaking study on her own part. 
She is painstaking, I hope ? " 

Walter did not know. He knew that this poor girl had worked 
hard at the dull slavery of household toil, that she had a mind 
quick to learn ; but could not answer for her perseverance or 
laboriousness in this new path she was about to tread. 

" She is very quick in learning anything," he answered, " and 
has a remarkable love of literature — especially poetry." 

Miss Tompion looked doubtful. 

" A taste for poetry, acquired under the guidance of a culti- 
vated understanding, after education has formed the mind, is a 
source of delight to its possessor," she said solemnly ; " but an 
ignorant undisciplined love of poetry in an ill-regulated mind I 
should consider a fatal tendency, and one I should deem it my 
duty to check, even to the verge of severity," added Miss Tompion, 
with an awful look at Loo, who was crying behind her veil. 

Walter recalled this little scene in the primly-furnished draw- 
ing-room at Thurlow House, and remembered with keenest pang 
how Loo had cast herself sobbing on his shoulder at parting. 

" It's ever so much worse than Voysey-street," she had whis- 
pered to him. " Do — do ask father to take me back ! I'll go 
back to the scrubbing, the dirt, the debt — anything would be 
better than this / " 

" This " meant Miss Tompion's solemn aspect, as she stood 
tall and straight, the incarnate image of starched propriety, in 
the midst of that temple of Minerva, the Thurlow House draw- 
ing-room, an apartment in which not a chair was ever seen out 
of its appointed space. 

He had left Loo in this ladylike imprisonment, after giving a 
reference to his solicitor, which had convinced Miss Tompion of 
Loo's respectability ; a fact she might have been inclined to 
question, had it not been supported by the solicitor's guarantee. 
That claret-coloured silk dress and Louisa's striking appearance 



132 Lost for Love. 

had gone a little against Mr. Leyburne's protegee in the well- 
ordered mind of the schoolmistress. 

Having disposed of Louisa's life for the next three years, Mr. 
Leyburne might be fairly said to have relinqnished all farther 
concernment in her fortunes or fate. Certain quarterly pay- 
ments he would have to make during her pupilage ; but at its 
termination she would go out into the world an independent, 
self-supporting young woman, and the thought of her need 
trouble him no more. Yet, in having done this much, he 
felt as if he had done nothing for her — absolutely nothing — 
when weighed against that one stolen kiss in the shadowy 
lane. 

The image of the absent Louisa, therefore, was apt to come 
between Mr. Leyburne and Flora when he was most inclined to 
be happy, and it always brought perplexing thoughts in its train. 
There were hours when it seemed to him that Flora's sweetness 
of disposition was the one charm which a man should choose to 
brighten his life ; there were other hours when he thought that 
Flora might be but a childish helpmate for one who hoped to be 
distinguished by-and-by. 

Mark Chamney looked on meanwhile, innocent as one of the 
sheep he had reared on the Darling Downs, and told himself 
that all was well, and his little girl's future a settled thing. 
Who could see those two together and doubt their love for each 
other ? 

"I always felt that it must be so," he said to himself; "I 
always knew that Providence meant them for one another. 
Providence is too good to leave my little girl alone in a cold 
unloving world. God has raised up a heart to comfort and 
cherish her when I am called away." 



Lost for Love. 133 



CHAPTER XV- 

" The face of all the world is changed, I think, 
Since first I heard the footsteps of thy soul 
Move still, O, still, beside me, as they stole 
Betwixt me and the dreadful outer brink 
Of obvious death, where I, who thought to sink, 
Was caught up into love, and taught the whole 
Of life in a new rhythm." 

At the end of the fortnight the doctor came back, looking all 
the worse for his London work, haggard and pale and careworn. 
His friends noticed the alteration. He had been working too 
hard, they said. 

Unhappily for Dr. Ollivant, however, it was not professional 
labour that had wrought the change in him. He had been 
trying to live without Flora, trying to forget the charm of her 
presence, schooling himself to endure his life without her or any 
hope of future union with her ; trying his uttermost, and failing 
piteously. Love, when he fastens on a victim of Outhbert 
Ollivant's age, is not the tricksy spirit that leads youth along 
the path of pleasure with a chain of roses. The Eros of middle- 
life is an implacable master, who binds his slave with fetters of 
iron, and drives him with an iron goad. 

Mark Chamney welcomed his old schoolfellow with more than 
usual heartiness. He was happier than when they had parted, 
happy in the assurance of Flora's future. The grip of his hand 
had all its old strength. 

"You look all the better for Branscomb, Mark," said the 
doctor. 

" Do I ? Well, you see, I've been enjoying myself more than 
usual this last week or so." 

" Hardly complimentary to me," said the doctor. 

" Don't suppose I haven't missed you, Ollivant, for I have. 
My pleasure has been purely vicarious. I enjoyed seeing our 
)) jungsters together. Walter and Flora have been so delighted 
with the place and the fine weather and each other. It has 
done my heart good to watch them." 

The doctor's face clouded, as it always did at any mention 
of Walter Leyburne. Master of himself as he was in all 
other respects, he had not yet learned to govern himself in 
this. 

They had planned various excursions for the week — a drive to 



134 Jk i; j._. r _,_,. 

an old church among the verdant wooded hills, called Tadnioi 
in the Wilderness ; a church which had long been disused except 
in connection with the picturesque secluded burial-ground that 
stretched at its feet ; a church which, according to west-country 
tradition, was one of the oldest in England. 

The wagonette was in attendance at eleven o'clock next 
morning, and Flora prepared with a neatly-packed basket, con- 
taining a pigeon-pie and a pound-cake, a punnet of big scarlet 
strawberries and a bottle of cream, with other bottles, et cetera, 
which made the basket rather heavy. She had shawls and rugs 
in abundance, lest dear papa should feel cold, and was full of 
loving care for his safety. 

Walter was to be coachman, an office for which he had begged 
earnestly. Mark took the seat at his side, so Flora and the 
doctor sat opposite each other in the wagonette, an arrangement 
which filled the doctor with delight. He had come back to 
Branscomb reckless of the future, determined to get just as 
much happiness as he could get out of the present, without 
after-thought or calculation. To sit opposite to her in that 
rustic vehicle ; to see every change of shadow and sunlight that 
flitted across her innocent face ; to talk to her and listen to her 
gentle intelligent replies ; to be with her undisturbed, her com- 
panion and friend and counsellor ! What deeper joy need he 
ask of the present hour than this ? 

He shut his eyes to the future, therefore, and abandoned 
himself, heart and soul, to this immediate happiness. Mr. 
Chamney was in a talkative mood ; went over his Australian 
experiences — familiar ground to Walter ; and the young man 
had about as much as he could do to attend to his companion 
and the horse — no time for turning round to talk to Flora, 
except for an occasional word or two about the beauty of the 
landscape. Three of the party had to alight a good many 
times to walk up the hills, which are of the steepest in this 
district. But the doctor insisted that Mark should keep his 
place — such hills as these were not for him to climb. He 
assented with a sigh. 

" It's a hard thing to get old and feeble," he said. " When I 
think of the mountains I've scaled in Australia, and find my- 
self unequal to these molehills, I am disagreeably reminded of 
age and decay." 

Walter led the horse, and Flora and the doctor walked side 
by side. He told her all about the wild flowers she gathered 
from the steep green banks beside the road ; their names, their 
properties — all the attributes that tradition or poetry had given 
them. 

" To think of your being a botanist ! " exclaimed Flora, won- 
dering at his knowledge. 



Lost for Love. 135 

" I shjuld be a poor physician if I did not know as much 
about simples as an old woman. There was a time when the 
world was, for themost part, doctored by old women ; Hecate-like 
hags who found healing — or sometimes death — in every hedge. 
There is hardly a leaf in yonder bank which might not be used 
for good or ill. Nature has no negatives." 

The drive lasted a long time in this leisurely fashion, walking 
up all the hills, and walking down the steepest descents, loitering 
on lofty spots to admire the landscape, stopping at a roadside 
farmhouse for a draught of new milk, and otherwise dawdling, 
so that it was two o'clock when they mounted the las thill, and 
found themselves at the gate of the old burial-ground. 

It would have been a sacrilegious thing to picnic among 
tombstones, so they carried the basket into a little bit of wood 
which bordered the old churchyard. The horse and vehicle 
were disposed of at an adjacent farmhouse — the only dwelling 
in sight of the church. 

Utter silence reigned in the wood — silence and solemn beauty. 
Who can wonder that unenlightened man worshipped his deity 
in groves and woods ? To every mind the forest has a sacred 
air, and seems the natural temple of the invisible God. Dark- 
ness and silence are his attributes, and here they reign perpetual. 

Flora drew closer to her father, awed by the silence, as they 
entered this little world of shadow. That joyous spirit was 
suddenly clouded. Darkness and shadow reminded her of 
that awful shade which walks this world of ours, and hovers 
near us even in our gayest moments. She put her hand 
through Mark's arm, and looked up at his wan face. 

" You are not tired, dearest papa ? " 

" No, Baby, not more tired than usual." 

" That sounds as if you were always tired," she said anx- 
iously. 

" Well, darling, I don't pretend to be the fellow I was ten 
years ago in Queensland. But I mean to enjoy myself to-day 
for all that, so you needn't look unhappy, pretty one. What- 
ever span of life I have, remember that my later days have 
been very pleasant, and that you have made their sunshine — 
always remember that, little one." 

Flora threw herself on his breast with a sob. 

" Papa, papa, you pierce my heart when you speak like that, 
as if we were not to have many happy years together — as if 
God could be cruel enough to part us." 

"We must never call God cruel," said Mark solemnly. 
" Remember Him who knew deeper sorrow than man's wildest 
grief, yet did not complain." 

The girl choked back her tears, and clung even more fondly 
to the father's arm. 



13G Lost for Love. 

" After all," said Mark Chamney gaily, " I daresay when our 
parting does come it will be the sound of wedding-bells. My 
darling will think it no hardship to leave me when she departs 
with the husband of her choice." 

" No, papa ; no husband shall ever take me away from you ! 
Whoever wants me for a wife must make his home in my 
father's house. But I am a poor little insignificant thing, 
and I don't suppose any one will ever want to marry me. I feel 
as if I was born to be an old maid. See how fond I am oi 
canaries ! That's an awful sign." 

Mark Chamney laughed aloud — the old genial laugh which 
neither pain nor weakness had changed. 

" Why, Baby, do you think I'm blind? Do you suppose 
I can't see the state of the case between you and Walter? " 

" Papa," said Flora seriously, " he doesn't care a bit for me." 

" Then I don't know what caring means." 

" Indeed, papa, you are quite mistaken. He likes me very 
well, perhaps, as a younger sister ; but no more than that, I 
know." 

" Mistaken ! pshaw ! as if my eyes were not keener than 
yours. It's the lookers-on who see the most of the game, 
Flora. But perhaps you don't like him P " 

Flora was silent. Her father looked down at the sweet young 
face suffused with blushes — eyelids drooping, with tears on their 
dark lashes. 

" Never mind, darling; I won't ask for an answer. J know, 
and the future will show which of us was right. And now, no 
more serious talk to-day. Tou enjoyed the ride up here, Baby? " 

" 0, yes, papa ; the scenery is so lovely." 

" And Ollivant is a pleasant companion, eh ? " 

" A delightful companion, papa. I felt a little cross at first 
when we set out " 

" At not having Walter ? " 

" I did not say that." 

" Of course not, Baby." 

" But Dr. Ollivant talked so nicely that I couldn't help being 
interested. He seems to know everything, and understand 
everything — and he is so kind and thoughtful. I shall never 
be disagreeable about him again, papa." 

" I'm very glad to hear that, Flora, for Ollivant and Ley- 
burne are the only friends we have. Come, we had better 
make this our halting-place. The other two will find us pre- 
sently." 

The other two had remained behind to see to the horse, and 
carry the basket between them. The halting-place Mark had 
chosen was a little opening in the wood, which revealed the 
wide-spreading panorama beyond, as seen through an arch oi 



Lost for Love. 137 

greenery. A tiny brook of clearest water rippled over the 
pebbles at their feet ; a rugged bank crowned with tall pines 
offered a comfortable seat. Here Mark spread his furry rug, 
and stretched himself out in luxurious ease ; while Flo's soprano 
voice called from a little knoll to give the basket-bearers notice 
of their destination. They arrived almost immediately, and the 
basket was unpacked with all the gaiety which usually attends 
«he emptying of a picnic hamper. It was such a thoroughly 
silvan business altogether — the feast of the simplest — the ban- 
queters the most temperate. 

Dr. OUivant, the grave physician, the man upon whom pre- 
mature age was wont to sit as a garment, the recognised autho- 
rity upon cardiac disease, was to-day the gayest, and, to all 
appearance, the happiest of the revellers. There was not 
enough alcohol in that modest bottle of La Rose which the 
three men shared among them to inspire a spurious merriment 
■ — it was all genuine mirth ; and Mark listened and looked on 
admiringly, while Flora and the doctor talked. Walter, on the 
contrary, was more silent than usual. He was thinking of 
Loo's day in the country, and of what deep rapture such a 
scene as this would have inspired in that ardent soul. He re- 
membered how she had spoken of the Forest, meaning Epping. 
It would have been pleasant to see her dark eyes glow with 
delight at sight of yonder wide sweep of hill and valley, ver- 
dure and woodland. 

But it was a vain thought. Loo was treading the scholastic 
mill under the stern eye of Miss Tompion, and never more must 
he and she make holiday together. 

The idea of her imprisonment, the memory of her last im- 
ploring look, saddened the painter in spite of himself. He 
hardly heard Flora's fresh young voice, or the doctor's graver 
tones. He began to feel tired of this holiday-life — tired even 
of Nature's beauty. The whole thing seemed childish. He 
turned from Dr. OUivant with a scornful look, wondering that 
a man with some claim to intellectual distinction should be 
capable of finding delight in such foolish pleasures. 

Mark Chamney noticed his moodiness. 

'* Why, what's the matter with you, Walter ? You and 
OUivant are like the old man and woman in the weather-glass — 
when one comes out, the other disappears. Your spirits wero 
high enough yesterday, but now that OUivant's here, they seem 
to have gone down to zero." 

" I am not so learned as the doctor," sneered Walter, " and 
am not capable of enlightening Miss Chamney upon woodland 
traditions and superstitions with the eloquence and erudition 
which have distinguished his conversation this morning." 

thought Mark, pleased. "Poor fellow! He's 



138 ±iost for Love. 

over head and ears in love with, my little girl, and is jealous even 
of Ollivant." 

Walter rose directly the simple feast was finished. 

" 111 go for a ramble among the hills over there," he said, 
" while you all amuse yourselves exploring church and church- 
yard. I want to stretch my legs a little after that long 
drive." 

Mora looked disappointed. 

" Don't you want to see the church ? " she exclaimed—" the 
oldest in England." 

" I have no passion for old churches ; but I'll come back in 
time for a look at it. "We shan't leave here in a hurry, I 
suppose ? " 

" No, we can stay till five," answered Mark, looking at his 
watch. " It's just three. That gives you young people a couple 
of hours to amuse yourselves as you like. I shall indulge 
myself with a nap." 

He made himself comfortable upon the rug, Flora assisting. 
She had forgotten nothing that could insure his comfort. She 
had brought an air pillow for his head, and the softest of Shet- 
land shawls to enfold him in its fleecy web. 

Not once did she look up at Walter as she knelt by the inva- 
lid's rustic couch. She, too, would have liked a ramble among 
those verdant hills ; but it was not for her to propose it. She 
felt that he was unkind for wishing to leave her — that of all 
vain dreams her father's was vainest. 

" Yet, only yesterday, I thought that he cared for me," she 
said to herself, with sorrowful resignation. 

Walter lit his cigar, gave his friends a careless nod of farewell, 
and departed, promising to return in an hour. 

Mark composed himself for slumber. 

" You'd better take my little girl over the church," he said to 
the doctor ; " that young fellow won't be back till it's time for 
us to start, I daresay. He's gone to think out some grand idea 
for a new picture, I'll be bound." 

Flora sighed gently. Yes ; that was it perhaps. True artists 
must live sometimes apart, in a kind of cloudland. It was 
wrong of her to feel vexed with Walter for liking a lonely 
ramble. 

" Shall we go and explore the old church ? " asked Dr. Olli- 
vant, after an interval of placid silence. Mark Chamney was 
fast asleep by this time. 

" If you please," said Flora, waking from a reverie. " If you 
think papa will be quite safe here." 

" I do not think any danger can assail him. There is no 
treacherous east wind. We may safely leave him for half an 
hour, and we shall be within call if he wants us." 



Lost for Love. 139 

Flora rose, and they went away together, side by side. Ah, 
happy, if life could have gone on thus, thought the doctor. He 
would have asked no higher delight than the passionless joys of 
this summer afternoon. 

A little gate opened out of the wood into the old burial- 
ground, and they went in among rustic tombstones, moss- 
grown, and decaying, with here and there a modern monument 
of higher pretensions, and here and there a humble wooden 
headboard with rudely-cut inscription. The ground was irre- 
gular ; on one side of the church a sleepy hollow, sheltered by 
perfume-breathing limes, a chestnut or two, and a rugged old 
oak which spread its branches wide over one quiet corner; on 
the other side, an open plateau commanding a wide range of 
country. 

The church looked like a forgotten church in a forgotten land. 
The ivy had pushed in among the decaying stones of the tower, 
loosening the masonry ; time and weather had honeycombed the 
stones in some places, and a heap of fallen rubbish in one 
corner hinted at swift-coming ruin. The upper half of the 
tower had been patched with boards on the windward side, and 
the lower half, which had once been the entrance to the church, 
was occupied by a clay-stained barrow, a pickaxe and spade, and 
some loose planks — the gravedigger's dismal plant. 

After making the circuit of the church they found the village 
guardian of the temple, a man who was at once sexton and 
gravedigger and gardener — not that this churchyard in the 
wilderness knew much of the gardener's care, but here and 
there he pegged up a wandering rose-brier, or cut down a bank 
of dock and thistle. 

He led them into the church, whose interior presented no 
remarkable feature — save, indeed, a primeval simplicity sugges- 
tive of a departed age. There flourished, on tall slate tablets, 
the Ten Commandments ; that pillar of faith by which old- 
fashioned churchmen stand stanchly in these days of change. 
The most evangelical mind might have been satisfied that here 
at least lurked no popish blandishments, no trappings of Rome. 
Bare benches, a pulpit like a packing-case, bare walls, rudely 
plastered, a brick floor, a cupboard for the sacred books, another 
cupboard for the parson's surplice, a tablet or two to the honour 
and glory of departed churchwardens who had made small 
bequests for the support of the church — no more. The ivy 
creeping in at the diamond-paned casements, the blue sky seen 
athwart the dark tracery of an over-shadowing yew — these were 
the only beautiful things to be seen in the church of Tadmor in 
the Wilderness. Flora's interest was soon exhausted. That 
dull gray interior suggested no romantic memories— only the 
idea of fat farmers and their families worshipping in that barn- 



140 Lost for Love. 

like edifice, Sunday after Sunday, with sluggish souls attuned 
to their sluggish lives. 

They went back to the burial-ground, and here Flora found 
ample food for thought. She looked at the ages of the dead, 
and felt a little shock whenever she came to the record of some 
sleeper who had numbered less than her father's years when he 
was called away. Alas, how many, even in that rural region 
where death should be a tardy visitant, had been summoned in 
life's meridan ! She turned from the tombstones with a shudder- 
ing sigh. The doctor, close at her side, and ever watchful of 
her face, noted look and sigh, and guessed the current of her 
thoughts. 

" How hard that death should walk the world stealthily ! " 
she said. " If there were one appointed hour for all to die, the 
common doom would be easier to bear. We should know the 
end must come, and prepare for it — prepare for death — prepare 
for parting. There would be no agony of suspense — no waver- 
ing hopes and fears. It is the surprise that is so cruel. Those 
we love are not taken from us in the course of nature, but 
snatched away unawares. Tread where we may, we are on the 
edge of a grave. The days of man are threescore years and 
ten, says the Scripture. But that is not true. Look at my 
father," she cried passionately, bursting into tears ; " can you 
promise me that he will live to be seventy ? " 

Those tears unmanned the doctor. Passion, so long re- 
strained, slipped the leash. In a moment he was on his knees 
upon the grassy mound, clasping Flora's hands as she leaned 
against the sunken headstone, covering the poor little hands 
with kisses. 

" My love, be comforted ! " he cried; " God will not leave you 
desolate. If one great love must be taken from you, there shall 
be another — greater, stronger, more utterly devoted — to replace 
the lost affection. My darling, don't shrink from me like that. 
There never was a woman loved better than I love you — rarely a 
woman loved so well. You must have guessed it — you must 
have known it — even though to your mind I seem old and 
grave, and outside the pale of love and hope. Flora, pity me ! " 

That last appeal — a cry of anguish so utter — touched her in 
spite of her pained surprise. 

"Pity you, Dr. OllivantP" she said gently. "I do indeed 
pity you , if you can be so foolish — if there is any meaning in 
this wild talk." 

"Meaning! It is the one meaning of my life. I never 
carried away the memory of a woman's face till I saw yours. 
The loveliest have passed before me like pictures in a gallery, 
or making even less impression on my mind. But I saw you — 
knew you — watched all your pretty looks, your gentle womanly 



Lost for Love. 141 

ways — and my mind opened to the understanding of a new 
world. Love and hope and home and wife and children — the 
idlest words men speak had not been emptier words for me till 
then. I knew you, and home and wife became the one purpose 
of my existence. God knows I have tried to do without that 
vain dream — to live without you ; but I cannot — I cannot. 
If you will not be my wife, there is nothing before me but 
misery." 

" I am so sorry," faltered Flora, very pale — frightened by the 
force of this passion, so terrible in its stern reality; not in the 
least like any lover's talk she had ever imagined—" sincerely 
sorry that you should think of anything so impossible. Pray 
be reasonable, dear Dr. Ollivant; remember the difference of 
our ages." 

" It did not hinder my loving you — it would not prevent my 
making your life happy — if you would only trust me. I would 
be husband and father in one ; protector, guide. Tour youth, 
your innocence, your gentle yielding nature, need a stronger 
helpmate than some boy-lover whom you might choose for the 
brightness of his glance, the sunlight on his hair. Boy-and-girl 
love is a pretty thing in poetry, Flora, but poor stuff to stand 
the wear and tear of life. Trust a love that is the outcome of 
manhood, the fruit of a ripened mind, rather than that careless 
fancy of youth which is fleeting as the foam upon a shallow 
river." 

" 0, dear," said Flora, in sheer distress of mind, " what can 
you see in me — a poor little insignificant creature that no 
one notices ? You who are so clever — you who know every- 
thing." 

" I never knew love till I knew you, Flora, or youth, or hope. 
You brought me the bloom of my late youth. At the time 
when other men are young, I was old. I am as young as the 
youngest now. The heart is the true timekeeper." 

" You are so good, so wise, so true a friend to papa," faltered 
Flora, half frightened, half flattered. There was a thrilling 
sense of power, of her own importance, in finding herself loved 
like this — a novel intoxication. Her glance softened, the tender 
curve of her lip relaxed into a gentle smile. She was sorry for 
the doctor's infatutation — a little proud of having inspired a 

passion so romantic. " If I had never known any one else " 

she said hesitatingly. 

" If you had never known him ! " cried Outhbert, hope re- 
kindled by her softness, and with hope jealous anger. "If I 
had come first, and come alone, I might have had my chance. 
He robbed me — he who is incapable of an honest love." 

" How dare you say that ? " exclaimed Flora, flaming out. 
No name had been spoken — no name was needed to indicate 



142 Lost for Love. 

the subject of their speech. "What right have you to set 
yourself up as his judge ? " 

" No right, Flora, but some experience of mankind. It is not 
hate or jealousy that speaks when I tell you that Walter Ley- 
burne is incapable of a noble self-sacrificing love. It is convic- 
tion. ' Unstable in all things, thou shalt not excel.' He will 
never be a famous painter, for he is not true to his art. He 
will never be a faithful lover, for he has no constancy of purpose. 
He is that shifting sand which never bore a noble edifice. He 
is that wandering star of whom the apostle speaks : ' Clouds 
they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose 
fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the 
roots.' " 

" It is shameful of you to speak against him ; shameful, 
cowardly to depreciate him in his absence ; and to quote scrip- 
ture against him, as if St. Jude had any unkind feeling about 
poor Walter," added Flora, restraining her tears with a struggle. 
" Mr. Leyburne is nothing to me, or, at the most, only a friend ; 
but I detest people who speak against my friends." 

" Then you detest me, Flora ? " 

"Yes." 

" I am sorry for that." 

" I detest you when you are unjust and unkind," said Flora, 
half relenting. " Of course I can't altogether hate you, for 
you are papa's friend — his doctor too. You hold the keys of 
life and death, perhaps. 0, be kind to him — take care of him ! 
Don't punish me by neglecting him." 

" Am I quite a dastard ? Flora, if the waste of all my life 
could prolong your father's for a year beyond God's limit, I 
would surrender my life as freely for your pleasure as if it were 
a cup of water given to a thirsty wayfarer. What sacrifice of 
self would I not make for your sake— ay, even to the last worst 
sacrifice of all — to see you happy with another? On my soul 
and honour, if I had thought Walter Leyburne the man to 
render your life happy, this wild prayer of to-day should have 
remained unspoken. I would have locked my lips. No tempta- 
tion — not even the sight of your tears — should have beguiled 
me from my steadfast silence. I would have gone down to the 
grave, adoring you to the last hour of my life, but with my love 
untold. I have strength and will and courage enough even for 
that, Flora." 

" I know you are great. I believe you are good," answered 
the girl, looking up at him with wondering eyes, awed by the 
depth and strength of his passion; "too good to make me un- 
happy by talking of this foolish love — so foolish since I am so 
unworthy of it." 

"No, you are more than worthy. What is there on this 



Lost for Love. 143 

earth better than youth and innocence for a man to adore? 
My tender violet, fresh and bright with the dew of life's morn- 
ing, no ripe red rose that ever flaunted her beauty in the mid- 
day sun owns your gentle charm. O, Flora, can you not choose 
between a weak wavering fancy like Walter Leyburne's and a 
love so strong as mine ? Alas, you know not how much 1 
renounce for your sake, how sternly I had planned my career, 
and how little room there was in the plan of it for an absorb- 
ing passion. I never thought that love could be needful to my 
life till I knew you. You have awakened a dormant soul, 
Flora ; you are bound to cherish, to succour it. Do not thrust 
it from you to perish in outer darkness. For me there is no 
medium between delight and despair — the blessedness of being 
loved by you and the blank misery of existence without 

His words took deeper meaning from the sombre fire of his 
dark eyes — the utter intensity of look and action — the hand 
which clasped Flora's with a grip of iron, every vein defined 
in the white surface — every muscle rigid. Physiologists might 
have read the man's soul from no better indication than that 
firm strong hand. A rAan born to set himself against the 
impossible — resolute to recklessness, if need were. 

" 0, dear," exclaimed Flora piteously, " I don't know what to 
say, I don't know what to do ! It is such a shock to me to 
hear you go on like this, Dr. Ollivant, when I have always 
looked up to you and respected you, and been grateful to you 
for papa's sake. I beg you never to repeat this wild talk. 
Let us forget that you ever talked so. I hope you'll be happy 
by-and-by, and find some good clever wife, who will suit you 
ever so much better than a foolish little thing like me." 

" Flora, if I had come first — if you had never known Walter 
Leyburne, would there have been any hope for me then ? " he 
asked desperately, ignoring her wise little lecture. 

"I am afraid not. You see, you are so many years older 
than I am. I don't think I ever could have thought of you 
in that light, even if " 

" Even if you had not loved Walter Leyburne," said the doctor. 

"You have no right to say that. You know that Mr. 
Leyburne is nothing to me." 

" God grant he may never be any more to you than he is 
now!" 

" It would make no difference in my feelings towards you," 
cried Flora indignantly. 

" God grant it for your own sake," said the doctor with a 
moody look. 

He rose from the green hillock on which he had been kneel- 
ing all this time at the girl's feet, holding her slender wrist 



144 Lost for Love. 

with that strong hand of his, constraining her to hear him to 
the end. He rose with a gloomy look upon his rigid face, and 
turned away from her. It was all over. He had said his say — 
prayed his prayer. He knew no farther plea that he could make. 
His glimmer of hope — the pale ray that had lured him on till 
now — was extinguished for ever. 

He was not angry with Flora for her refusal. That mighty 
love he bore her, passionate though it might be, was not the 
kind of love which failure and disappointment can transform to 
hatred. He might detest his happy rival, but for Flora he had 
no feeling save tenderness. 

She stood by the headstone, hardly daring to look up, while 
Dr. Ollivant moved a pace or two away from her. She was 
angry with him for his depreciation of Walter, but sorry for 
his foolish infatuation. Never before had she seen grief or 
passion in a man. It was like being brought face to face with 
some inhabitant of a strange world. Pity and wonder divided 
her mind. 

" Flora," said a light gay voice at her elbow. 

She looked round with a start and a faint cry of gladness. 

" 0, Walter, is it you ? " 

" Yes ; I've had a long ramble, and come back to show you the 
church." 

" You're very kind," replied Flora with dignity; "I've seen 
the church, and I'm quite ready to go back to papa." 

She had forgotten his bad conduct at first, in her delight at 
seeing him. It had been such a relief to hear his voice, to see 
his frank smile, after that awful look of Dr. Ollivant's as he 
turned his gloomy face away from her just now 

" Then perhaps you'll show me the church. I suppose, having 
come here for the express purpose of seeing the place, one is in a 
manner bound to see it. That's the worst of a picnic ; the drive 
is delightful, the luncheon is always agreeable; but the lion to 
be done afterwards is generally a bore." 

" I don't think you can see the church unless you grope your 
way in through some door that's been left unlocked by accident. 
The man who keeps the keys has gone home, and he lives three 
miles away. He told us so." 

" Communicative creature ! In that case we'll consider the 
church done. Any remarkable monuments in the church- 
yard?" 

" Yes, a poor little freestone cross in memory of a landscape, 
painter whom the nation might honour with a nobler memorial," 
said Dr. Ollivant, looking round. " Go and look at his grave, 
Mr. Leyburne, and see how easily even greatness may be for- 
gotten. His pictures fetch large sums at Christie's ; but the 
grass grow? high upon the mound under which he sleeps, upon 



Lost for Love. 145 

the slope of a westward-fronting hill, in the glow of the sunsets 
he loved to paint." 

Nothing in the doctor's calm tone indicated the struggle of 
the past half-hour. He possessed that heroism of daily life, the 
power of keeping his emotions in check. Strong must have been 
that spring- tide of passion which had carried away the floodgates 
of prudence a little while ago. 

They went to look at the painter's grave, which Dr. Ollivant 
had discovered by chance among the humble memorials of village 
tradesmen and tenant farmers. The afternoon sunlight bathed 
the spot in its soft golden glow. It was not a bad resting-place ; 
better perhaps, save for the credit of the nation, than West- 
minster Abbey. 

" I should like to go back to papa, please," said Flora. " He 
must have finished his nap by this time." 

" Then we'll go to him. How pale you are looking, Flora ! " 
cried the painter. "The oldest church in England has been too 
much for you." 

" I do feel rather tired." 

" Poor little fragile flower ! and I have been to the top of that 
hill over there, and feel none the worse for the journey." 

Flora and Walter went back to the wood where they had 
picknicked, leaving Dr. Ollivant alone in the churchyard. He 
was moving slowly among the turf-bound graves, an image of 
gloomy meditation, not inappropriate to the scene. 

They found Mr. Chamney seated on a pile of pine-trunks, 
smoking his cigar and contemplating the landscape with a look 
of serene thoughtfulness. He had been meditating upon that 
one subject which lay nearest his heart — his little girl's future. 
To him it seemed clear and bright enough, despite Flora's 
doubts. He welcomed them with a smile. 

" What ! you two have been together all the time, after all ? " 

" I have been to the other end of the world — at least to the 
top of that hill over there," said Walter ; " and then I made a 
circumambulation and got back to the churchyard, but not in 
time to show Miss Chamney the church. Dr. Ollivant had 
anticipated me." 

" Well, I think we'd better get off as soon as we can, if you've 
all had enough of Tadmor in the Wilderness. There's a high 
tea or something ordered for eight o'clock, isn't there, Baby ? " 

"Yes, papa?" 

" It's nearly six, and the drive takes two hours ; but we won't 
spoil a pleasant day by hurrying the close of it. Where's 
Ollivant?" 

" Ruminating upon the end of life among village graves. We 
did not presume to disturb his solemn meditations, but I know 
where to look for him when the wagonette's ready." 



146 Lost for Love. 

They strolled slowly through the little wood and went into 
the farmyard, where Flora fell in love with a mild -faced 
Devonian cow, ruddy as the rich soil on which she was pas- 
tured, and admired all the varieties of a farmyard life with 
the fresh enthusiasm of a city maiden, while the horse was 
being harnessed. 

When all was ready, they found Dr. Ollivant at the church- 
yard gate, serious, courteous as of old, and bearing no trace of 
that consuming flame which had transformed him less than an 
hour ago. He was more silent than usual during the homeward 
drive, but none the less tender in his care of Flora. Gentle was 
the hand with which he adjusted her shawls and wraps, lest the 
evening breeze should be too chill for her safety, gravely sweet 
his tones when he spoke to her. 

Once something in the expression of his face touched her 
unawares. She looked up suddenly, and surprised his look of 
infinite love. 

" Perhaps, after all, he is right," she thought, deeply moved 
by that revelation of despairing love. " If I had never known 
Walter I might have learnt to care for him, were it only out of 
gratitude for such deep affection. What would it have mattered 
to me that he is ever so many years older than I ? He honours 
me so much the more by his regard. Yes, I might have loved 
him a little, I daresay, if I had never known Walter." 



CHAPTER XVI. 

" Allez, soyez heureuae ; oubliez-moi bien vito, 
Comme le cherubin oublia le lgvite 
Qui l'avait vu passer et traverser les cieux." 

The emotions of that afternoon in Tadmor churchyard proved 
a little too much for Miss Chamney's strength, and she was 
confined to her room next morning with a severe headache. 
Perhaps, too, she shrank somewhat from a meeting with the 
doctor. All the easy familiarity of their past intercourse waa 



Lost for Love. 147 

over. She dreaded any allusion to that hopeless passion which, 
gave him a new character in her mind. He was no longer the 
eafe middle-aged friend, a kind of adopted uncle. All future 
companionship with him must be fraught with fear. 

The morning after the picnic — disagreeably distinguished 
from all other mornings by Flora's absence — was spent by the 
three gentlemen in a somewhat desultory manner. Mr. Cham- 
ney lay on the sofa by the open window, reading yesterday's 
papers. The doctor went for a purposeless ramble on the cliff, 
intending to return at noon to write letters in the little room 
behind the drawing-room, which had been given up to his use. 
Walter went down to the beach to sketch and smoke for an 
hour or two, after his lazy holiday-making fashion. 

The doctor walked far, following the irregular line of th« 
coast, across cornfield and fallow, pasture and common land. 
The spot where he halted was the wildest, most desolate bit of 
the landscape ; an angle where the cliff rose highest, and the 
descent, although not absolutely sheer, was steep enough to 
make the lonely wanderer recoil from the verge with a shudder. 

Prom this height the land sloped downward at a sharp incline 
and the cliff came to an end. Beyond this the coast was low 
and level, and a rough tract of sandy heath extended to the 
very edge of the sea. On the other side of this heathy waste 
glimmered the white walls of the coastguard station. Dr. 
Ollivant lingered on the height, looking dreamily across the 
wide calm blue of the summer sea, and thinking whether he had 
not made a mistake about his life, after all. 

" I have enclosed my life in too narrow a circle," he thought ; 
" I have denied myself too many things — all those things which 
other men consider the necessary embellishments of existence — 
and now I pay the price of my onesidedness. At seven- and- 
thirty I am the slave of a girl, only at rest in her company — 
and yet not at rest even with her. A bitter end to high hopes 
— a barren reward for a youth of toil and patience." 

It did seem a hard thing to him that he who had asked so 
little of Providence, who had toiled so abundantly for the prizes 
he had wrested from Fortune, should be denied this one boon. 
He only sighed for the affection of a gentle girl — not eminently 
beautiful, not richly gifted in mind or person ; only to him the 
loveliest and dearest thing in the universe. 

To him and to his boundless love Fate denied her, and gave 
her to a man whose affection for her — even if he cared for her 
at all — was at best an ephemeral fancy, to be turned aside by 
the first temptation. The doctor had watched Walter Ley- 
burne, and, without any knowledge of the man's life, knew 
enough of the man himself to be very sure that he had no 
absorbing love for Flora. 



148 Lost for Love. 

"But then, unhappily, she is in lore with him," reflected Dr. 
Ollivant. " I knew that it would be so the first time I saw 
them together." 

He walked slowly homeward. Hours were of little account 
to him at Branscomb. He had a volume of modern medicine — 
the last new ideas of Germany — in his pocket, but did not care 
to read to-day. For once in his life he was his own master, and 
tasted all the pleasures of idleness ; or such pleasure as that 
idler tastes who walks with black Care close behind him. 

The London post did not leave Branscomb till six in the 
evening, so there was plenty of time for the doctor to write his 
letters without unduly hastening his footsteps. It was between 
two and three when he opened the gate of the Cedars, and 
walked across the grass to the open window of his own little 
sanctum, wondering whether Flora had yet appeared, and if he 
had lost the delight of seeing her at luncheon. That substan- 
tial midday meal would be over most likely by this time. 

He paused on the threshold of the window by which he was 
in the habit of going in and out, brought to a sudden stand- 
still by the sound of one short sentence in Mark Chamney's 
voice. The door between the two rooms was ajar, and Mark 
was speaking in tones that made every word audible. 

" If I had not thought that you were fond of my little girl, I 
should never have broached the subject," he said. 

" As if any one could help being fond of her," replied Mr. 
Leyburne, with the faintest suspicion of embarrassment in his 
accents. " It isn't possible to live with her, and see her sweet 
nature, and not admire and love her as " 

He had been going to say " as a sister," but the eager father 
interrupted him. 

" As you do," he exclaimed. " I was positive of it. Haven't 
I seen it in a thousand signs and tokens? Didn't I tell 
Flora so?" 

" You told her ? " said the other ; " and did she " 

" She was delighted. My dear fellow, she adores you. You've 
nothing to fear in that quarter. I think she was in love with 
you before I brought you into the house. I remember how 
bright and happy the little puss was when I told her about our 
meeting at Maravilla's ; how she stood on tiptoe to kiss me, as 
if I'd done something wonderfully clever ; and how she insisted 
upon going straight off in a cab to Covent-garden, to buy fruit 
and flowers to make the table look pretty. You're a happy 
fellow, Walter. It is not one man in a hundred who gets such 
a. wife as Flora — a young fresh soul — pure as a little child — 
spontaneous — unselfish — confiding. I ought not to praise her 
so much, perhaps, because she's my own daughter — but — you're 
right, "Walter — who could live with her — see her day by day, 



miusi j or ±jovb. 



149 



with all her unconscious graces — and not idolize her? Well, I 
won't say any more about Flora. She is just what Heaven 
made her, untaught and unspoiled by the world. I thank God 
heartily for having brought us all together; for there is no 
one I would rather have for my son-in-law, no one to whom I 
would rather leave my hard-won fortune, than Jack Ferguson's 
nephew." 

"My dear Mr. Chamney," faltered the painter, "I know 
not how to be grateful enough for your regard — your confi- 
dence." 

" Be faithful to my child when these eyes can no longer see 
your love," answered Mark, after a pause in which the two men 
had joined hands in friendship's cordial grasp ; " be kind to her 
and true to her wlu.n I am gone. God only knows how soon 
that day may come. I have had many a warning to remind 
me that my time is short, or I should hardly have spoken as I have 
to-day. I hope you don't think I make my little girl cheap by 
speaking out so bluntly. If I had not been certain about your 
feelings, I should have held my tongue. But I want to be very 
sure that my darling's future will be safe and happy before I lie 
down to take my last long rest. I may trust you, mayn't I, 
Walter ? If I have made any mistake, if there is a shade of 
doubt or hesitation in your mind, speak out. I can bear my 
disappointment, and my little girl is made of too sound a metal 
to break her heart because her first love-dream may be nothing 
more than a dream." 

" I have no doubt — no hesitation. If I have ever wavered, I 
shall waver no longer," exclaimed Walter with hearty eagerness 
which seemed sincere even to the ear of that pale and breathless 
listener standing by the half-open door. " I thank you with all 
my soul for your confidence," continued the young man, " and 
it will go hard with me if I do not prove in some measure 
worthy of so great a trust. God grant that you may live long 
enough to see that you have made no error in choosing me for 
the guardian of your darling's life." 

All was settled. Dr. Ollivant gave one long sigh — a sigh of 
farewell to hope — pushed open the door, and went into the 
dining-room, where Mr. Chamney and Mr. Leyburne were still 
seated opposite each other at the luncheon table. 

" I'm afraid the cutlets are cold, Ollivant," said Mark gaily, 
" but we'll soon get you a fresh supply. Eing the bell, Walter, 
like a good fellow. In the meantime, you may congratulate me, 
my dear doctor, upon having settled a question that lies very 
near my heart — a question which I have more than once dis- 
cussed with you." 

" You need not explain," replied the doctor. " I came in by 
the window of the study a few minutes ago, and heard some 



150 Lost for Jjove. 

part of your conversation — enough to make me understand th« 
position of affairs," 

By this avowal Dr. Ollivant in some degree protected himsell 
from the degradation of having been a listener. 

"What ! you overheard us?" exclaimed Mark, astonished. 

" Yes ; I did not like to interrupt Mr. Leyburne's pretty 
speech just now, so waited on the other side of the door till 
he had finished. I congratulate you, young gentleman ; and 
I trust you may be able to keep the promises you made so 

■'I am not afraid of myself," answered Walter loftily, " how- 
ever poor an opinion you may entertain of my merits. And I 
really do not see that Mr. Chamney's choice of a son-in-law 
is any business of yours. Unless indeed," with a crushing 
sneer, " you had some idea of applying for the situation your- 
self." 

" That hypothesis is not impossible," replied the doctor coolly. 
" But I have a better ground for my anxiety about Miss Cham- 
ney's happiness in the fact that until to-day I considered myself 
her future guardian." 

" And so you are," said Mark eagerly. " Don't suppose that 
Flora's marriage will make any difference in my wishes upon 
that point. I am not going to trust this inexperienced young 
couple with full custody of their own fortunes. Flora's money 
shall be tied up as tightly as lawyers can tie it ; so that if 
Walter likes to make ducks and drakes of John Ferguson's 
savings, mine shall give him and his wife an income no folly of 
theirs can alienate. You shall be trustee to the marriage set- 
tlement. You've no objection to Dr. Ollivant in that capacity, 
I suppose, Walter ?" 

" Not the slightest ; though I must needs regret that I have 
not been so fortunate as to earn the doctor's good opinion." 

" My opinions are always liable to be modified or altered by 
time," said Dr. Ollivant frigidly. 

He seated himself at the table, drank a glass of claret, and 
listened graciously while Mr. Chamney unfolded his plans for 
the future ; Walter sitting in the verandah outside, smoking, 
and only putting in a word now and then. 

No schoolboy enraptured by the possession of his first watch, 
his first gun, or his first pony, could have been more delighted 
than Mark at having secured a happy future for his child. He 
had no shadow of doubt as to the wisdom of his own plan. 
All seemed clear to him now. It would be hard to part with 
Flora, but to know her safe ^as to take the sting out of 
death. 

" They can begin housekeeping in Fitzroy-square," he said ; 
" it will only be for Walter to move his painting-room from 



Lost for Love. 151 

number eleven to number nine. I'll make the house bright and 
pretty for them. You're right, Cuthbert, in what you once 
said about it ; it is a gloomy den for such an occupant as Flora. 
I'll have the principal rooms refurnished, and keep the back 
drawing-room and the bedroom above it for my own hole. You 
won't grudge me so much space in that big house, will you, 
Leyburne ? " 

" I should be wretched if you thought of living anywhere 
else," said Walter from the verandah. 

" That's heartily spoken. I should be miserable if you parted 
me from Flora. But I'm not going to be a prying old nuisance 
of a father-in-law. I shall keep pretty close in my own den, 
and by-and-by you can take Flora to Italy, and show her all the 
wonders of the Old World. I promised myself that pleasure 
once. I made up my mind Baby and I would wander all over 
Europe together, and perhaps cross from Naples to Africa, and 
have a peep at the Moors. But Fate decreed otherwise. I 
must be content to lie at ease on my sofa, and smoke my cigar, 
and follow your footsteps in my dreams." 

There was a pathos in his resignation all the deeper from the 
cheeriness of his tone. Both his hearers were touched. 

" We shall be in no hurry to leave you, sir, even for the delight 
of seeing Rome together," said Walter. 

"We." How easily he uttered the plural pronoun; how 
completely settled the matter seemed! The doctor, who had 
despised this young man's instability of character, wondered at 
the change an hour had wrought in look, tone, and manner. 
To-day Walter Leyburne seemed steadfast as a rock. 

Flora came in at this moment, pale as her white muslin dress, 
and with a pensive look that went to the doctor's heart. That 
wild avowal of his had shaken her nerves, nay, agitated her soul 
to its utmost depths. She had lain awake all night thinking of 
him, wondering about him, haunted by that last despairing look 
of his, the gloomy darkness of his eyes just before he turned 
from her in the churchyard. He had been subdued and calm 
enough afterwards, but through all that long wakeful night she 
could not recall his face without that awful look, that fixed and 
sullen agony of a soul without hope. 

Was this true love, the best and noblest love that could be 
offered to a woman ? She told herself with a sigh that, if it 
were, she could never be truly loved by Walter Leyburne. 
Looking back at the past few months by the new light of that 
afternoon's revelation, she could see that Dr. Ollivant had 
always loved her better, or at least loved her more deeply, than 
his bright young rival. Walter had been kind enough and 
pleasant enough in his butterfly fashion, but Cuthbert Olli- 
vant's devotion had known no limit. What dull evenings, what 



152 Lost for Love. 

monotonous days he had endured for her sake, knowing no 
weariness while she was at his side ! How tender he had been 
towards her ignorance, how patient a teacher, how unselfish 
a friend ! 

She sighed as she recalled all his goodness — sighed with pity- 
ing tenderness, and wished there had been no such person as 
Walter, and that she could have rewarded that devoted 
love. 

" I would not have minded his being so old," she said to 
herself. " I would have been his wife and daughter at once, 
and would have thought a life of duty and obedience a poor 
payment for his goodness to papa and me." 

Unhappily Mr. Leyburne did exist, and his existence made up 
half the sum of Flora's narrow world. 

That pale look of hers this morning thrilled Cuthbert 
Ollivant's soul. It told of sleeplessness and thought for his 
sake. Alas, she knew not that her fate had been decided in her 
absence. Very soon that pallor would be changed for maiden 
blushes, those sad eyes would brighten with a happy smile. 
Very soon would she have forgotten how to pity her rejected 
lover. 

"Well, my pet, is the head better? " asked Mark Chamney, 
as his daughter kissed him. " I hope I sent you up a nice 
breakfast." 

" Very nice, papa, and substantial enough for a couple of 
ploughmen, instead of one young lady with a headache. But 
I ate a few of those magnificent strawberries, and enjoyed 
them." 

" That's right, darling. The doctor brought those in from 
the village on purpose for you. The basket was a perfect pic- 
ture." 

" Thank you, Dr. Ollivant. How kind of you ! " she said, 
stealing a timid look at him. It was so difficult to speak to 
him in the ordinary careless tones, after that scene of yester- 
day. 

" You're sure the head is better ? " Mark asked anxiously 
still holding his daughter's hand. 

" A little, papa ; yes, nearly well. I think I had too much 
air and sunshine yesterday. It is only the birds who can bear 
the full glory of a midsummer day." 

" Go out and sit in the garden, Baby ; it's cool on the east 
side of the house. Leyburne will read to you, I daresay," 
suggested Mr. Chamney, smiling at his own finesse. What 
manoeuvring mother could have managed things better P 

" Delighted," said Walter, flinging his half-smoked cigar into 
blue space towards the sea-gulls. " What shall it be— Shelley 
or Browning or Walt Whitman ? " 



Lost for Love. 153 

'" I suppose she wouldn't think it poetry if it was anything 
she could understand," remarked Mr. Chamney. " In my young 
days Byron used to be good enough for people." 

" Yes," drawled Walter, " there are people still living who 
think there are pretty bits in Byron." 

He remembered that first reading of the Giaour in Yoysey- 
street, and Loo's passionate burst of weeping. That strong 
verse — innocent of metaphysical depths of meaning, or intricate 
entanglement of words — has a wonderful effect upon vulgar 
minds. 

" 0, Shelley, if you please," said Flora. She was at the age 
when Shelley is the most adorable of poets, when to sit in a 
garden above the sea, and follow the pensive meanderings of 
that melodious verse, is to be in paradise. And if just the one 
dearest companion earth can give reads the musical lines in a 
low baritone, Shelley is twice Shelley. 

She kissed her father again, looked into his face with fond 
anxiety, and was cheered by its gladness. 

" Tou look so well to-day, papa," she exclaimed, " ever so 
much better than yesterday. Doesn't he, Dr. Ollivant ? " 

" I am better, my dear," replied Mark, not waiting for the 
doctor's opinion ; " I never was better, or more at ease in my 
life. God bless you, darling! Go and be happy with — 
Shelley." 

She made the doctor a little curtsey of adieu, and vanished 
through the open window, taking the sunlight with her, as it 
seemed to those two who remained in the room. 

" Now, Ollivant, I daresay you are going to pitch into me," 
said Mark, putting himself on the defensive, as soon as Dr. 
Ollivant and he were alone. 

" I am not going to do anything of the kind. You have 
done what you thought wisest for your daughter's happiness. 
Can I complain if she is happy ? 



154 Lost /or Low. 



CHAPTER XVIL 

'* Das Ausserordentliche in dem JLeben 
Hat keine Regel, keinen Zwang ; es bringt 
Sich sein Gesetz und seine Tugend mit : 
Man darf es nicht mit ird'schen Wage messen ; 
Man zaumt es nicht mit ird'schen Schranken ein." 

The reading of Shelley ended as might have been foreseen by 
any reasonable person with full knowledge of the circumstances. 
Before he had gone very far into the misty labyrinth of " Epip- 
sychidion" Walter laid down his book, took Flora's willing 
hand in his, and asked her to be his wife. It was all done in 
the simplest, easiest way. The young man indulged in no 
heroics — he had been a great deal more eloquent that moonlight 
night on the Kingston road, where the mystic light and the 
ghostly whisper of the pines were natural aids and incentives 
to poetic expression. He only told Flora in the plainest words 
that she was the sweetest girl he had ever known, and that he 
had her father's sanction for his wooing. 

"More than his sanction, darling," he said; "your father 
wishes it with all his heart." 

"But are you sure that you wish it, Walter?" asked Flora 
earnestly. " It is just a romantic notion of papa's that you 
and I ought to be married because you are Mr. Ferguson's 
nephew. Don't let papa's wish influence your conduct. Wait 
till your own heart speaks ; and if that remains silent, let us be 
brother and sister to the end of our lives." 

" My heart spoke ever so long ago ; my heart has been con- 
tinually speaking," said Walter, very much in earnest at this 
moment. He fully believed just now that he had never cared 
r or any one but Flora — that his transient admiration of some- 
body else had been nothing more than an artist's worship of 
unconventional beauty. " Flora, you are not going to say no, 
when every one wishes you to say yes ; you do care for me a 
little, don't you ?" pleaded the lover. 

Flora's eyes had been hidden till this moment, hidden by the 
shadow of her little plumed hat ; but at this question she lifted 
her head and looked at the questioner — shyly, but with ineffable 
love in those clear truthful eyes. 

" Yes, I knew you loved me ! " said Walter, putting his arm 
round her with the successful suitor's proprietorial air, and 



Lost for Love. 155 

kissing the fresh young lips — a deliberate legitimate kiss, not 
like that rifled kiss in the dark lane at Thames Ditton. 

" And now, darling, there is nothing to hinder our being 
married as soon as ever your papa likes. We might spend our 
honeymoon on the shores of the Mediterranean, or among the 
Ionian Isles, and take Mr. Chamney with us. So easy a journey 
as that could hardly hurt him, and he would escape the fogs 
and east winds of an English autumn." 

Flora, whose mind was not bound up in the garments she 
wore, made no objection on the score of trousseau, as most 
modern damsels with rich fathers would have done. So these 
two children began to plan their future at once, seated side by 
side on the grassy bank sheltered by sparse laurels and scanty 
tirs, with all the vast blue sea spread out before them. 



Dr. Ollivant bore the certainty of defeat with an external 
calmness which might fairly have been expected from his strong 
uature. He saw Flora and her lover together, knowing that 
they were to be together for all the years to come, and gave no 
sign of his agony. He was more cordial in his manner to 
Walter than he had ever been yet, as if he were trying his 
hardest to like him. To Mora he was gentle, courteous, and 
paternal. Seeing him as he was now, she could hardly believe 
that he was the same man who had pleaded his love with such 
passionate force in Tadmor churchyard. The Dr. Ollivant of 
that never-to-be-forgotten hour had vanished, like the spectral 
visitant of a dream . She was grateful to him for his kindness, 
and showed her gratitude by many little tokens of regard; but 
she took good care never to be alone with him, even for a few 
minutes, lest he should break out again. He was no longer 
that strong rock of shelter in which she had confided as a 
bulwark of defence, but a Vesuvius liable to explode at any 
moment. 

Stoic as he might be, the doctor did not think fit to prolong 
the task of endurance farther than was needful to give decency 
to his departure. He felt that he would be better in the vault- 
like study in Wimpole- street, walled-in with books, feeding on 
the dry bones of science, or dining in the gloomy dining-room, 
with all the memorials of Long Sutton around him, all eloquent 
of his joyless boyhood, from the portrait of his father — seated 
it a table with a stethoscope and a surgical-instrument case at 
his elbow, and the regulation crimson curtain behind him— to 
the brass-bound sarcophagus in which his thrifty mother kept 
the decanters. 

He announced his departure for the secono. day after that of 
me betrothal, much to Mark's regret. 



156 jjost jor ljove. 

" What a bird of passage you are, Cuthbert ! " he exclaimed, 
" I thought you meant to stop ever so much longer ! " 

" My dear Chamney, you forget the impatience of patients, 
who get that name like the groves — a non lucendo. I should 
pass into the herd of unfashionable physicians before the year 
was out if I abandoned my consulting-room any longer. For 
the rest," he added, in a tone that was almost gay, " I shall be 
ready to assume any responsibility that you like to inflict upoi? 
me in regard to Miss Chamney's settlement." 

" Miss Chamney ! " 

" Flora, if you prefer it," said the doctor, hardly daring to 
pronounce that name, lest his accent should betray him. He 
could not breathe her Christian name without a tender cadence 
in the syllables. " And whenever the wedding-day is fixed, you 
may command my attendance." 

" Thanks, dear old fellow ! But I'm not the less sorry to lose 
you now. As the distance to the goal shortens, one clings more 
kindly to one's travelling companions. I suppose my little girl 
will be married in London — at St. Pancras perhaps; a big cheer- 
less temple for a quiet little wedding ; but it will do. I daresay 
she'll want to buy gowns and things ; what you call a trousseau. 
Curious that a woman about to marry should deem it necessary 
to provide herself with a pile of garments as big as a haystack, 
as if she cherished the conviction that her husband would never 
give her any clothes." 

" The custom is convenient, when the brokers come in within 
the first year of the marriage," said the doctor placidly ; " it 
provides something to be seized, and gives tone to the state- 
ment of the husband's assets." 

The next day was Dr. Ollivant's last at Branscomb, and pro- 
mised to be a blank and dreary day ; for Mr. Chamney had one 
of those intervals of prostration which were too common to him 
now, and Flora spent the morning by her father's sofa, reading 
to him or watching him in his brief and fitful slumbers. 

The two visitors therefore were flung upon their own resources 
for amusement. The weather was divine; true midsummer 
weather, with a high cloudless sky, and the balmiest west wind 
that ever fluttered the tresses of the sea-nymphs. The doctor 
and Mr. Leyburne sauntered forth in a purposeless manner, 
and with tacit agreement to avoid each other, took separate ways 

The painter went down to the beach to finish that little pic- 
ture he was painting for Mr. Chamney. The doctor strolled 
through the village, took a long round inland, and returned U 
the coast by narrow field-paths, which led him to that wildet 
region which had pleased his fancy when he discovered it twc 
days ago. 



Lost for Love. 157 

He had -walked a long way before he came to the spot where 
the dark red cliffs rose highest, and it was between two and 
three o'clock in the afternoon. He had been thinking deeply, 
throughout that solitary ramble, doing battle with his weak 
heart, and he felt himself in some measure victorious in that 
mental struggle. It was easier to fight the battle now that all 
was settled — all the possibilities which exist while a question is 
yet undecided ended for ever. He schooled himself to think of 
Flora's marriage as an event that must take place very soon. 
He pictured to himself their future relations. He, the grave 
friend and adviser — guardian of her material welfare — sponsor 
to her first-born. He could not imagine that inevitable future 
without a pang ; but he told himself these things must be, and 
that he must be less than a man if he did not face these con- 
tingencies in a manly spirit. 

" To think that I, who have written on cardiac diseases, 
should suffer my heart to be racked by that disease called love 
— hopeless love for a girl of nineteen ! " 

At the highest point of the cliff there was a straggling hedge 
dividing two fields— on one side a wide sweep of fallow, on the 
other a stretch of feathery oats. The doctor, tired with seven 
or eight miles' hard walking, laid himself down to rest on a low 
bank under the shelter of this hedge, and had soon dozed off 
into that light noon-day slumber in which the hum of the sum- 
mer insects, the flutter of leaves, the deep-toned murmur of the 
sea, are pleasantly audible to the sleeper. He hears the harmony 
of the universe, and fancies himself lying in the lap of Nature, 
soothed by her tender cradle- song. 

But a harsher sound than the silver-clear note of the skylark 
in the blue vault above presently startled the doctor from his 
slumber — a voice which he knew, raised angrily, exclaiming, — 

"It's a lie!" 

" Is it ? " asked another voice, in a still harsher tone, a voice 
whose quality was somewhat rough and husky, as if with too 
much tobacco and too much strong drink. " Where is she then ? 
What have you done with her? What have you done with 
my daughter ? " 

Cuthbert Ollivant started to his feet, pale and eager, and 
looked to see whence the voices came. Two men were walking 
along the edge of the cliff, a few paces in front of him. They 
must have passed close to him as he lay asleep under the hedge. 
One was Walter Leyburne ; the other, a man who looked half- 
gipsy, half seaman, roughly clad, and with a bold swaggering 
walk. This was all Dr. Ollivant could see as the man walked 
in front of him. 

He followed within earshot. He had no doubts as to his 
; i>tification in hearing what this stranger had to say to Walter 



158 Lost for Love. 

Leyburne. He had heard enough to justify his listening to the 

rest. 

" You have no occasion to be alarmed," said Walter coolly ; 
" you need give yourself no uneasiness about the daughter to 
whom you were so indulgent a father, so devoted a protector. 
She is in safe keeping." 

" Yes, I've no doubt of it," answered the other, with a harsh 
laugh ; " in uncommonly safe keeping." 

" Wherever she is, I recognize no right of yours to question 
me about her, or to follow her. When you turned her out of 
doors that night, you forfeited all claim to her love, or duty, 
or obedience." 

" I should never have turned her out if I hadn't had good 
reason for it. You can't suppose it didn't go against me, as a 
father, to do such a thing. There wasn't a better girl than our 
Loo in all Voysey-street till you came about us — industrious, 
hard-working, an affectionate daughter, and a thoroughly re- 
spectable young woman. But from the time you crossed her 
path she was ruined — lolloping about with a book in her lap 
every spare minute she could get — sitting up late at nights, and 
souring the old lady's temper by burning the candles. There 
were plenty of people in Yoysey-street to see the change, and 
some of 'em friendly enough to give me a word of honest advice 
about it. ' Are you blind, Jarred?' they said. ' Can't you see 
what's going on ? ' But even when they spoke out plain about 
you and Loo, it didn't frighten me. ' I know he's a noble-hearted 
fellow and a thorough gentleman,' said I. ' If he pays our Loo 
attentions that can can only be paid by a lover, he means fair, 
and he'll make a lady of her. I'm not afraid of him. He's as 
true as steel.' That's what I said, Mr. Leyburne. Come now, 
don't prove me a bar after all. I've travelled all the way from 
London to ask you a plain question. Do you mean to make an 
honest woman of my daughter ? Are you going to marry her ? " 

Walter's reply was in a lower key, and the doctor was not 
near enough to hear it. But the stranger's answer to that 
speech, which seemed long and deliberate, came in a voice of 
thunder. 

"Blackguard and profligate!" he cried, with a threatening 
motion of his clenched fist. " I'll have it out of you somehow. 
You carry it off with a high hand, but you haven't seen the last 
of Jarred Gurner." 

For a moment his attitude looked as if he meant violence, but 
in the next he turned sharply away, and ran along the cliff and 
down the incline that led to the sand-hills and furze-bushes by 
the sea. Walter had kept his ground like a rock, ready for the 
worst. He watched the man's vanishing figure, and then 
turned slowly and confronted Dr. Ollivant. 



Lost for Love. 159 

" Do you join the profession of spy to your more orthodox 
avocations, Dr. Ollivant ? " he asked, after a movement of 
surprise. 

" I am glad to say that I heard every syllable your companion 
spoke to you after you passed that hedge," replied the doctor. 

" I congratulate you upon having acquired so much enlighten- 
ment about my affairs." 

" I have learned just this much about you — enough to justify 
me in using my strongest endeavours to prevent your marriage 
with Flora Chamney." 

" What, you mean to interfere, do you ! Not content with 
putting your grip upon the young lady's fortune, you want to 
get the young lady herself. Do you think I haven't seen your 
drift from the first ? And you would like to avail yourself of 
a disreputable ruffian's random charge in order to set Mr. 
Chamney against me ? A clever game, Dr. Ollivant." 

" I repeat what that man said to you, blackguard and profli- 
gate," cried the doctor, livid with anger. He knew not that in 
his rage there was any more personal feeling than righteous 
indignation against a hardened and heinous sinner. " From the 
first I have known you to be unworthy of Miss Chamney. I 
have known you to be fickle and unstable — blowing hot and 
cold ; but so long as I knew no more against you than this, I 
held my tongue. Do you think I shall be silent now — now that 
I know you varied your courtship of Miss Chamney by the 
seduction of a humbler victim ? No liar, no seducer shall marry 
Mark Chamney's daughter, while I have breath to denounce 
him." 

"Walter had heard Mr. Gurner's abuse with supreme indiffer- 
ence; but Dr. Ollivant's reproaches stung him keenly. This 
last insult seemed the culmination of a series of wrongs. The 
doctor had been his secret foe from the first : had underrated his 
talents, denied his genius, been his silent and stealthy com- 
petitor for Flora's love. That word " liar " was just too much 
for mortal patience. Walter raised the light cane he carried, 
and brought it down within an inch of Dr. Ollivant's face. 
Then all Cuthbert Ollivant's secret jealousy and hatred — the 
smothered fire that had consumed his breast so long— blazed 
out. The doctor seized his assailant with the grip of a tiger. 

" I repeat what I have said," he cried. " Liar, seducer, 
charlatan ! You shall never be Flora's husband ! " 

The words came hoarsely from those breathless lips — came in 
the midst of a scuffle. The doctor wrestled, the painter made 
free use of his fists. For some moments Walter had the best of 
it, till, feeling himself losing ground, the doctor called science 
to his aid, and planted a blow on his antagonist's temple, which 
sent Walter reeling backwards, helpless and unconscious. Reel- 



160 Lost for Love. 

ing backwards on the sunburnt slippery sward that edged the 
cliff — backwards until, with a wild cry of horror, the doctor saw 
him sink below the verge. Outhbert Ollivant stood on the cliff 
alone, staring into space, convulsed by the horror of that 
moment. Could his outstretched arm have saved a life ? Had 
he, the man of iron nerve, failed in this one dread crisis in the 
common attribute of presence of mind ? 

He stepped close to the edge and looked down. The red 
rough earth was loosened and broken, and a good deal of it had 
fallen with the falling man. There he lay at the foot of the 
cliff, half buried in that loose red clay, barely a distinguishable 
object from the height whence Dr. Ollivant beheld him. 

" Dead, of course," thought the doctor with a pang. 

He hurried down the incline of the cliff; it took him a long 
way from that prostrate figure, yet was his only road to the 
beach — his only way of getting to the place where Walter lay. 
Halfway down the descent he met the stranger running to meet 
him. 

" How did it happen ? " he asked. 

" Is he dead ? " cried the doctor. 

"Dead as Nebuchadnezzar. How did he fall? Did you 
pitch him over P " demanded Jarred in the most friendly 
manner, as if to throw a young man over a cliff was one of 
those errors to which the best of natures are liable. 

" We had a scuffle ; he attacked me, not I him. I held my 
ground as long as I could without striking him. Then finding 
he was savage enough to do me serious harm, I gave him a 
blow on the temple, that stunned him. He reeled backwards ; 
the grass is slippery " 

"Yes," interrupted Jarred coolly; "that's the wisest way of 
putting it." 

" What do you mean, fellow ? I have told you nothing but 
the truth." 

" It would ill become me to say you haven't," replied Jarred 
apologetically; "but coroners and jurymen have more specula- 
tive minds than mine ; they will go into probabilities, and they 
might take it into their heads to disbelieve that account of 
yours. They might call this little business manslaughter ; or, 
if they happened to be a pigheaded lot of country shopkeepers, 
murder." 

" They can call it what they choose. I can only tell them 
the same story I have told you. Let me pass, if you please ; I 
want to see if there is anything to be done for that young man." 

" Yes, there's a coffin to be made for him, and an inquest to 
be held upon his remains. That's about all, I believe ; unless 
you mean to give him the luxury of a tombstone." 

"How do you know that he is dead? " asked the doctor irre- 



'Lost for Love. 161 

■olutely. Curious and intricate questions were beginning to 
revolve themselves in his mind. It would not be a nice thing 
to stand accused of this young man's death — to find his truthful 
statement of facts scouted as the veriest fable. But worse than 
trial by jur\;, or the pains and penalties of the law, would be 
Flora's loathing — Flora, who would believe him the assassin of 
her lover— the desolator of her glad young life. 

" How do I know that he is dead ! " echoed Jarred scornfully. 
" By all the signs and tokens of death — glazing eyes, a heart 
that has stopped beating, livid lips. Do you suppose he had 
any chance of life — as much as one in a million — when he fell 
over that cliff? Come, now, sir, you take my advice — I'm a 
man of the world — a man who has been knocked about by the 
world, and who knows how blessed ready the world is to drop 
down upon a man, if once he puts himself in the wrong — take 
my advice, and keep this business as quiet as you can. It's 
uncommonly lonely about here, and I don't think there's much 
chance of people passing along the beach before the tide is in ; 
it'll be close up to the cliff in a quarter of an hour, I should 
think, by the look of it. Once the tide is in, you're safe. The 
body may be brought in by another tide, or picked up at sea ; 
but there'll be nothing to connect you with the body." 

" There's nothing to connect me with it now," said the doctor 
thoughtfully — he was evidently impressed by Jarred's sugges- 
tion — " except humanity." 

" But there'll be plenty of evidence against you, if you go 
down yonder and potter about, trying to bring the dead back to 
life." 

"Why are you so concerned for my safety?" asked Dr. 
Ollivant. " You, who are a stranger to me." 

" Out of common humanity ; or, if you don't think that motive 
strong enough for a man of the world, I'll go a step farther, 
and confess that I should be glad to do a service for a gentle- 
man who may be able to serve me in return. I'm a friendless 
vagabond, and wouldn't stick at a trifle to do a friendly turn to 
a man who could be grateful for a kindness." 

" Suppose I refuse your intervention, not seeing my need of 
your help ? " 

" In that case, I shall tell my own story about that young 
man's death ; and it may not happen to be quite so favourable 
to the idea of your innocence as your own account of the 
business." 

" You mean that you would swear to a lie to get me hung ! " 

" By no means. I should only describe what I saw and heard 
from the beach just now. How I heard voices — yours raised in 
anger ; heard you declare that Mr. Leyburne should not marry 

L 



162 Lost for Love. 

Miss Chamney while you had power to prevent him. I'll swear to 
that speech through thick and thin. Then came hurried footsteps 
©n the cliff above me, like the steps of struggling men, one of 
them fighting for his life ; and then I saw Walter Leyburne 
hurled over the edge of the cliff. He fell, almost at my feet, 
stone dead. All the cross-questioning of all the Old-Bailey 
lawyers at the bar wouldn't make me alter a syllable of that 
statement." 

A damaging statement for Dr. Ollivant assuredly, and 
difficult of disproof. There was so large an element of truth 
in it. 

" Come," said Jarred, reassuming his friendly air, as if he 
had known the doctor twenty years, and had always been 
attached to him, " you'd better treat the business like a man of 
the world. It was an unlucky slip, and you're very sorry for it ; 
but there's no use in crying over spilt milk. Ten minutes 
more, and the tide will be up ; and before an hour is over, that 
poor young fellow will be carried out to sea quietly and comfort- 
ably. You go home to your friends, Dr. Ollivant, the quicker 
the better, so that you may be in a position to prove an alibi if 
Mr. Leyburne should have been seen about the cliffs by any 
one." 

"How came you to know my name?" asked the doctor 
suspiciously. 

" I've heard it many a time. I was a friend of young Ley- 
burne's till he led my daughter wrong, and I know all about 
you and the young lady in Fitzroy-square. I've been living in 
Branscomb village for the last two days, waiting for a quiet op- 
portunity to speak to my young gentleman ; and I've seen you 
all together. Come, there's no time to lose. I must run back 
to the beach and watch. You're going home, aren't you ? " 

" Yes, I suppose that's the best thing I can do, since there's 
nothing to be done for — him," pointing towards the beach. 
" You can call on me in Wimpole- street some day, and claim 
payment for your silence." 

Jarred ran back to the beach as fast as his feet could carry 
him. The doctor glanced seaward with a thoughtful eye. 
The tide was rolling in, but not so fast as Jarred had asserted ; 
it would be an hour yet before that spot where the prostrate 
figure lay among the crumbled earth would be covered by deep 
water. 

The doctor looked at his watch — not yet four o'clock. Great 
heaven, how brief the time since he had lain down to rest under 
the hedge, and how the whole aspect of his life was changed by 
that one hour ! 

There was no such person in the world as Walter Leyburne. 



Lost for Love. 163 

That question which he had so often asked himself — which he 
had asked of Flora — whether he might not have won her save 
for this rival — must now be answered by the future. Death had 
cleared the ground for him. It was for him to make good use 
of his opportunity. 

He walked homeward, heavily burdened with care, yet with a 
guilty joy in the thought that the marriage he had dreaded could 
never take place — that he should never be called upon to bless 
Water Leyburne's wife. 

He loved too strongly to be merciful or even just. In his heart 
of hearts he was glad of that fatal chance which had ended the 
painter's brief day of betrothal. 

" It was his own fault," he thought. " I was not to be felled 
like an ox by the mere brute force of a detected scoundrel. He 
knew he was guilty, and that made my reproaches hit all the 
harder. Thank God I overheard that conversation, and dis- 
covered the fellow's worthlessness before it was too late to save 
Flora ! Thank God even for his awful death, if that alone could 
save her from alliance with a profligate," 

It seemed to Cuthbert Ollivant that the direct action of Pro- 
vidence was visible in all that had happened. Hardly anything 
less than Walter Leyburne's death would have cured Flora's 
infatuation. The strongest evidence that could have been 
brought before her would have failed to convince her of his 
unworthiness. To her he would ever remain the splendid 
abstraction of a girl's first love-dream — as incapable of any 
wrong deed as that cold perfection, a statue, is incapable of 
descending from its pedestal. 

But he was gone ! She might give him her tears, her 
regrets — enshrine him in the temple of her memory — but she 
could not give him herself. There was boundless comfort in that 
thought. New hope sprung up — a Titan ; not that feeble hope 
of the past. Dr. Ollivant forgot how much longer a woman 
grieves for the love she has lost untimely than for the love she 
has won and worn out, like a threadbare garment — till the 
vanishing of the silken woof reveals the coarser thread of the 
"■*arp. 



Lost for Love. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

" Look not thus pleadingly on me I The tear» 
Thou sheddest in thy bitterest grief are joy 
Beside my tearlessness." 

It was half-past five when Dr. Ollivant came in sight of the 
sugarloaf roof of the Norman tower. The summer afternoon 
was softly melting into summer evening — a brighter gold upon 
the waves, a deeper purple in the distance — a warm rosy light 
over beach and village; the forerunner of sunset's glory and 
glow. All Nature's voices seemed to have a mellower sound 
just at this hour; and Dr. Ollivant, to whose observation 
evening in Winipole-street rarely offered any more interesting 
features than the six-o'clock postman, or the brougham of a 
rival practitioner over the way, was moved by the soft influence 
of the scene. 

" At such an hour as this one would think that Nature meant 
all men to be good," he mused ; " but, then, Nature belies her- 
self as often as mankind. Tonder restful sea will have her fit 
of wickedness — savage winds will come tearing over those peace- 
ful hills; Nature will indulge her bad passions just like the 
weakest of us." 

The doctor looked back along the summer waves. Some- 
where under that blue water Walter Leyburne was swaying 
gently to and fro, entangled among sea- weeds perhaps, and 
with cold anemones cleaving to his hair, lullabied as gently by 
that soft murmur of ocean as ever his mother rocked him in her 
arms. To-night or to-morrow might come wind and storm, and 
the same waters would tear and buffet him, and shatter him 
against the rocks in their frantic sport ; but for this evening, he 
could scarcely have a pleasanter resting-place than that cool 
blue sea. 

" Better than to be stretched in a narrow coffin, and shut up 
in a room that all living things avoid," thought the doctor. 

Death had been so familiar to him that his rival's swift 

Eassage from life to eternity impressed him less than it might 
ave impressed another man. The universal doom was always 
before his mind, under more or less painful aspects. That a 
man should have fallen from a cliff was hardly worse than that 



Lost for Love. 165 

he should be cut off by fever or consumption. Yet little more 
than an hour ago he had been weak and plastic as a child in the 
hands of Javred Gurner. The cold drops of a deadly fear had 
stood upon his brow at the thought that, if Jarred gave hia 
version of the scene on the cliff, Flora would believe him a 
murderer. What would she not believe in her distraction, if 
the knowledge of her lover's untimely fate came to her in its 
dreadful certainty ? 

A figure was standing at the garden-gate — the slender form 
he knew so well, in its flowing muslin dress, with gay blue 
ribbons fluttering here and there — not a toilet that carefully 
followed the last turn in Fashion's ever-revolving wheel, but a 
simple girlish dress, careless, unsophisticated, with only a school- 
girl's aspiration for the beautiful as embodied in a blue sash and 
breast-knot. 

As he drew nearer, he saw the fair young face watching him 
with an anxious look. 

" How late you are, Dr. Ollivant ! " 

"Am I? I hope your father has not wanted me — has not 
grown worse ? " 

•' No ; thank God, he is better. What have you done with 
Walter?" 

The question electrified him. How like a murderer he felt 
just at this moment — how like the first murderer when the same 
awful question was addressed to him ! And yet by no deliberate 
design had he compassed his rival's death. 

An unlucky blow — given in self-defence — that was all. 

" What have I done with him ? " he echoed, forcing a smile. 
"We have not been together. I expected to find him with 
you." 

Once on the fatal road, lies came glibly enough. He had an 
appointed part to act, aj»d must play it boldly. 

" Did you ? " said Flora, with a disappointed look. " I have 
not seen him since breakfast. He said he was only going out 
for an hour or two, while I read the paper to papa. It isn't 
very kind of him to stay away so long. I waited luncheon till 
past three, and couldn't eat anything then. And how faint he 
must be — so many hours after breakfast ! Artists are so absent- 
minded. But you are looking pale and tired, Dr. Ollivant; 
come into the drawing-room and have some sherry-and-soda," 
added Flora, remembering the duties of hospitality. 

" I am tired ; I've been a longer round than usual among 
those hills on the road to Tadmor in the Wilderness," said the 
doctor, remembering Jarred's suggestion about an alibi. 

"And alone all the time?" exclaimed Flora wonderingly. 
She could not understand the delight of such solitary rambles. 



166 Lost for Love. 

" Alone — with my own thoughts — and the image I chose for 
my companion." 

They went into the drawing-room; a shadowy retreat, with 
close-drawn Venetians, save to one window which looked away 
from the sun, across darkening purple waves, to the distant 
racks of Fairbay. Flora had contrived to beautify the barely- 
fiirnished room with flowers and bookstands and gay little work- 
baskets, and prettinesses of an essentially girlish character. The 
canaries were there in their big cage, chirping placidly now and 
then, as if they meant to think seriously about singing before 
the summer was over. The doctor cherished a secret conviction 
that they were all hens, and that Flora, who had chosen them 
for the brilliancy of their colour, and the showiness of their 
paces, had been deceived as to their vocal capacities. To-day 
the doctor had no eye for the canaries or the prettinesses of 
that cool retreat, where Mark Chamney reposed luxuriantly on 
his sofa by the one unshrouded window. He had eyes only for 
Flora's face, wondering how it would look as time went by and 
brought no tidings of her lover— how it would look if they had 
to tell her he was drowned. 

Mr. Chamney spoke to him, and he answered reasonably 
enough ; yet, if questioned the moment after, would have been 
sorely puzzled to tell what he had been talking about. Never 
had Flora been kinder to him than this afternoon. She made 
him sit in the easy-chair opposite her father's sofa, poured the 
wine into his tumbler, even opened the soda-water bottle her- 
Belf, with dexterous fingers. 

" I learnt to do it for papa in Fitzroy-square," she explained, 
proud of her proficiency. " When I was at Miss Mayduke's I 
should have thought opening a soda-water bottle as awful as 
firing a cannon." 

She seemed cheered by the doctor's return, as if it presaged 
Walter's speedy coming. 

" I daresay he has walked as far as you," she said. 

"'He' meaning Walter, of course," cried Mark, laughing. 
" What curious people lovers are ! That poor child has been 
going in and out of this window every five minutes, fluttering 
like a frightened bird, standing at the garden-gate to look up 
and down the road, and then coming back to me with the 
saddest little face — ' No, papa, not a sign of him.' What an 
Kxacting wife you'll make, Baby, and what a stay-at-home 
husband you'll expect ! " 

"I don't suppose husbands stay at home always, papa," re- 
plied Flora, pouting. " I'm not quite so ignorant as you think. 
But I thought when people were engaged, they generally spent a 
good deal of their time together, just to see if it answered." 



Lost to/ u^ove. 167 

" If the engagement answered f " 

" Yes, if they really, really liked each other. For, yon see, 
a gentleman may make a lady an offer on the impulse of the 
moment — Walter is very impulsive, you know, papa — and he 
may rind out afterwards that he doesn't care about her as much 
as he thought he did. His engagement gives him plenty of 
time for that; for if he and his betrothed are a good deal 
together for long, long hours, he must know for certain if he is 
quite happy in her company, and never, never dull or tired of 
her ; and if she can really be all the world to him— as a wife 
ought to be." 

" A very good definition of the uses of courtship, Flora. 
"When Walter goes for his next long walk, you shall go with 
him. and see how your pretty little feet can adapt themselves 
to his pace- — walking the journey of life by his side." 

Dr. Ollivant looked at the purpling sea, and thought 
where this Walter really was of whom those two spoke so 
gaily. 

" What time do we dine, Baby ? " asked Mr. Chamney, after 
an interval in which Flora had been out into the garden for 
another look along the road. 

" The usual time, papa — seven." 

" You'd better go and get rid of the dust of your walk, 
Cuthbert. It's past six — and your toilet is always such a 
scrupulous business." 

The doctor started from a reverie. 

" Yes," he said, when Mr. Chamney had repeated his observa- 
tion, " I'll go. I'm up to my eyes in dust. That red earth on 
the cliffs " 

" Why, you said you had been on the hills- 



" I mean on the hills. The soil is all the same colour — red, 
like blood." 

He went up to his room. The sight of his own face in the 
glass startled him. 

" I look like a murderer," he said to himself. " The mark 
is there already. Come, if I don't keep a better watch over 
myself, they'll find out the truth from my face." 

Copious ablutions in cold spring-water helped to obliterate 
the mark. Carefully brushed, well-made evening clothes as- 
sisted in erasing the brand. No murderer could have wished to 
look better than Dr. Ollivant looked as he entered the drawing- 
room, where Flora was watching so wearily for the faithful 
knight who came not. 

Pale always, thoughtful always, the burden on his minv. 
made no change in his aspect. To his own eye there might 
be a guilty look, but the guilt was within, and the feliiner'a 



168 Lost for Love. 

imagination invented its outward tokens. The eye sees what 
the mind invents. 

Perhaps the worst feature of his hideous secret was that it 
urged him to perpetual lies. Just now, seeing Flora's watchful 
look, he was constrained to say, — 

" Not come yet ? He's late, isn't he ? " 

" Yery late. I asked them to keep back dinner for a quarter 
of an hour. I hope you don't mind. You must be very 
hungry." 

"Must I? Why?" 

" Because you have had no luncheon." 

" Haven't I ? No, to be sure. I forgot." 

" What a bad appetite you must have to be able to forget 
your luncheon ! " 

" I don't know. Luncheon seems rather a lady's meal — like 
five-o'clock tea, and all those extra refreshments. I don't know 
that men would not thrive better if they were fed like dogs, and 
wild beasts in Zoological Gardens, once a day. Nature would 
adapt herself to the system." 

" How dreadful ! As if life could possibly go on without 
meals. It isn't that I care so much about eating, but it is 
so nice to sit at a table with people one likes, and talk in the 
leisurely way people talk at meals. Surely meals are the bond 
of society." 

" I suppose so ; but you see I don't care for society. It seems 
rather a hardship to me sometimes to be obliged to sit at table 
with my mother for an hour and a half, while our old servant 
dawdles in and out with vegetable-dishes, and brushes away 
crumbs, and polishes glasses, and changes spoons and forks, and 
lays out figs and oranges and dry biscuits that we never eat, 
when I should get as much sustenance from a mutton-chop 
swallowed in ten minutes." 

" I'm afraid you're a misanthrope, Cuthbert," said Mark from 
his sofa. " You'd rather sit in that dreary consulting-room of 
yours, with some musty old book before you, than enjoy the 
best society earth can give." 

" I beg your pardon ; there is some society for which 
I would surrender all my books — light the fires of the Turkish 
baths with them — obliterate from my mind all the know- 
ledge they ever gave me — begin life afresh, ignorant as a 
child." 

" Why, Cuthbert, you talk as if you were in love ! " cried 
Mark, laughing. " Come, little girl, I think we've given this 
young man grace enough. You had better ring for dinner. I 
daresay Walter has come across people he knows, and is dining 
somewhere." 



Jjost for Love. 169 

" But he doesn't know any one in Devonshire." 

"How can you be sure of thatP He may have met some 
roving acquaintance — some brother of the brush." 

" I won't keep you waiting any longer, papa; nor you, Dr. 
Ollivant. But it does seem so strange, so rude and unkind, to 
stay away without sending any message. And he has never 
kept us waiting before. O papa, if something should have 
happened ! " 

" Why, Baby, what could happen amiss to a strong young 
man with all his senses about him ? You mustn't look so 
miserable at a few hours' separation, little one, or I shall wish I 
had never picked up this young scapegrace." 

" It isn't that, papa. If I could only feel sure that he is safe." 

" I wish I were as sure the forequarter of lamb won't be 
spoilt by this foolish delay. Come, Ollivant, give Flora your 
arm." 

They sat down to dinner, but a cloud was upon them. Flora's 
absent looks, her listening expectant air, disturbed both her 
companions. Mark could not be happy while his daughter was 
anxious. This first cloud — light as it might be — filled him with 
uneasiness. What if his fancied wisdom had been foolishness 
after all ? What if Cuthbert were right, and this young painter 
really inconstant and unstable ? He slighted his betrothed by 
this unexplained absence. He had no right to cause her alarm 
by some frivolous change of plan. 

They lingered at the dinner-table ; Flora doing her utmost 
to protract the ceremony, in the hope that Walter would be 
with them before they had finished ; and then giving particular 
instructions for fish and joint being kept hot, in case of Mr. 
Leyburne's return. It was past nine when they went back to 
the drawing-room, where one lamp burned with a pensive light 
remote from the open window. 

Here they sat in almost absolute silence ; Flora on a footstool 
at her father's feet, looking up at the starlit sky, and waiting 
for the first token of Walter's return ; Mark lying back in his 
arm-chair, with one hand resting tenderly on his daughter's silky 
hair; the doctor seated on the other side of the window, looking 
out with his straight steadfast gaze. Even the consciousness of 
guilt could not make those calm eyes shifty. 

With every rise and fall of the waves he thought of the cold 
form they carried in their lap to-night. It rose and fell with 
that gaily-lifting water — it moved with every ripple — he could 
almost fancy he heard the dragging sound of the heavy body 
over its ocean-bed — the grating of the pebbles — as the sea drew 
it along, bound by the long slimy weeds ; the cold dank weeds 
which by this time must clothe it like a garment. 



170 uvsi jor juove. 

And all this time Flora watched and listened as if he could 
come back to her. 

Midnight came while they were still sitting in patient silence, 
but they sat on even later, until it seemed unreasonable to ex- 
pect Mr. Leyburne's return. 

"He must have had some unforeseen summons back to 
London," said Mark, who had beguiled the slow hours witb 
occasional slumbers. 

" Who could send for him, papa ? He has not a relation is 
the world, or at least not one he cares for." 

" Pshaw ! all young men have bosom-friends. Some brothel 
artist in distress may have appealed to him, and he has hurried 
off to his friend's assistance. You know how impulsive he is. 
Your geniuses are not to be judged by common rules. I dare- 
say we shall have a letter or a telegram to-morrow." 

" God grant we may ! " said Flora piteously ; " but I am afraid 
something has happened — some misfortune. I don't think he 
would leave us so unkindly. Dr. Ollivant," turning to him 
with earnest appeal, " what do you think P Is there any need 
for fear ? " 

She looked at him entreatingly, as if she would have besought 
the strong man for comfort. The poor little face looked white 
and wan in the sickly flare of the candle she was holding, as she 
paused on the threshold for some word of hope. That look of 
hers rent Cuthbert Ollivant's heart. Not even the sweet hope 
of winning her by-and-by could counterbalance the agony of 
that one pang — to see her thus and know the suffering that 
awaited her. The slow days of hope deferred — the dull anguish 
of uncertainty — or, if the sea gave up her dead, the horrible 
truth. 

He could not answer her with a lie. 

" Alas, dear Flora, life is made up of fears and sad surprises. 
I — I am inclined to think there must be something wrong." 

Mark Chamney turned upon him indignantly. 

" It's too bad of you to talk like that, Ollivant, when my little 
girl is as nervous as she can be, and has been making herself 
positively wretched about this scapegrace, who is enjoying him- 
self somewhere or other, I daresay." 

Dr. Ollivant shrugged his shoulders deprecatingly. 

"It is always wise to be prepared for the worst," he said. 
"I didn't say there was anything amiss. I only said there 
might be." 

" Yes, you're like one of those confounded Greek oracles we 
used to read about at school, who were never wrong, because 
they were never clear. You sha'n't frighten my Flora with your 
dark speeches." 



liost for hove. 171 

" Let her take comfort from the thought that she has you by 
Ver side," said the doctor gently ; " that's the best comfort I can 
|Dlr her." 

" And that is comfort ! " exclaimed Flora. " O papa, papa 
can I complain so long as I have you ? " 

She threw herself into her father's arms, and shed the first 
tears of her new grief upon his breast. 

" If he has deserted me," she said in a low broken voice, " I 
can bear it." 

" Deserted you, my pretty one ! Do you think you are the 
kind of sweetheart a young man would run away from ? " cried 
the father soothingly. 

Dr. Ollivant stood in the shadow and witnessed her grief. It 
was hard to bear, remembering that one fatal blow into which 
he had put all the force of bis manhood. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

" If he lived, 
She knew not that he lived ; if he were dead, 
She knew not he was dead." 

The next day — and the next — and a week of slow and weary 
days went by, and brought no news of the missing man. There 
was no letter — there was no telegram. The inquiries which Mr. 
Chamney set on foot round and about threw no light on the 
mystery. Every one about Branscomb remembered the young 
painter ; almost every one had seen him ; many had spoken to 
him on that last day ; but since a little after noon on that day 
no eye in Branscomb had beheld him. He had been seen to 
shut up his paint-box and portfolio, to give them in charge to a 
boy for safe conveyance to the villa, and then to go up the hill 
yonder towards the cliffs, smoking his cigar. 

Only one of Mr. Chamney's informants had anything U> ad<i 



172 Lost for Love. 

to this simple statement. This was an idle young fisherman, 
who rarely seemed to do anything more actively laborious than 
watching other people work. This youth affirmed that soon 
after the painter went up the hill — it might have been ten 
minutes, it might have been pretty nigh a quarter of an hour- 
he had seen a strange-looking party in a velveteen jacket and a 
billycock hat come out of the Blue Lion public and mount the 
hill, in the same direction, as it might be following Mr. Ley- 
burne. He had took particular notice of this party, being a 
etranger. That was all. 

The emergence of this velveteen-jacketed stranger from the 
Blue Lion, and even his ascent of the hill, were hardly cir- 
cumstances forcible enough to point to any direct conclusion. 
Walter was young and strong — not the kind of man to fall 
a prey to any prowling vagabond — a man whom prowling 
vagabonds would be likely to avoid. He carried little money 
about him, and, except a good chronometer, offered small 
temptation to the footpad. Mr. Chamney therefore paid little 
attention to the young fisherman's remarks about the peculiar- 
looking character in velveteen and felt hat. 

Dr. Ollivant, touched with pity for Flora's distress, postponed 
his departure, at the hazard of his professional interests, and 
was the moving spirit of the investigation. He did not waste 
time upon discussion, but went over to Long Sutton, and set 
telegraph at work. He telegraphed to the landlady in Fitzroy- 
square — answer paid. He telegraphed to Walter Leyburne's 
shipping friends in the City, and waited at the station till both 
messages had been answered. 

The reply was the same in each case ; neither the landlady 
nor the shipbroker had heard or seen anything of Mr. Leyburne 
since the 30th of June — the date of that scene on the cliff. 

What other answer could Dr. Ollivant have expected ? He 
folded the messages, and went back to Branscomb to show them 
to Mr. Chamney and his daughter. 

Flora turned from him with a sigh. 

" How could you expect to hear of him in London ? " she 
said. " He has either met with his death in some dreadful way 
down here, or he has run away from me." 

The last possibility was almost as bitter as the first, and it 
was a possibility that occurred to poor Flora very often. 

Had he really loved her, or had he been influenced by her 
father's too obvious desire for their union ? That doubt humi- 
liated her. Fear of his untimely death, shame at the thought 
that he had perhaps deserted her, that his disappearance was 
only a trick to rid himself of an unloved betrothed, divided her 
wiind ; and the double burden was too heavy for her to bear. 



Lost for Love. 173 

Before the week was ended she was lying in her airy white- 
curtained bedchamber, languid and ill. 

"What is to be done?" asked Mark Chamney in an agony 
of fear. 

"We must get her back to London. The journey won't do 
her any harm — she is not ill enough for that. But if she stays 
here, and listens to the moaning of that sea — here, where 
everything will remind her of her missing lover — I won't 
answer for her health of mind or body. Again, if he should be 
drowned, and the sea give him rip to us — ! Such a shock as 
that might be fatal." 

" Do you think he is drowned? " asked Mark despondently. 

"It *eems the most likely. Something must have happened 
to him. What more likely than that he was going to find some 
lonely nook to bathe in, that time he was seen going up the 
path towards the cliffs ? There's that gully about a quarter 
of a mile from here, where there's a tempting bit of sand. He 
may have gone down there for a swim. You know how fond he 
was of the water." 

" Yes, but he was a splendid swimmer." 

" You've only his own word for that," responded the doctor. 
" All men fancy themselves great swimmers. It's one of the 
common weaknesses of humanity. Besides, splendid swimmers 
do sometimes come to a bad end." 

" True," sighed Mark. " Poor Walter ; I can't bear to think 
that he is really gone. Strange mockery of Fate ! I thought 
I had made my child's future safe and happy when I gave her 
that young man for her protector. Yet he goes before me. I 
knew that I was doomed. How could I think that the doom 
was upon him too ? " 

Dr. Ollivant had been watchful of the sea during this last 
week. He had supplied himself with all the local papers, and 
studied all paragraphs relating to the drowned. The waves 
gave up no less than three victims on the western coast during 
this period, and Dr. Ollivant travelled many miles to inspect 
these mournful remains. But none of those three drowned men 
bore the faintest resemblance to Walter Leyburne; and the 
dismal inspection over, the doctor went back to Branscomb 
somewhat relieved in mind. 

Perhaps the sea meant to keep his secret altogether. Again 
and again had he pondered his conduct on that fatal day — 
his seeming weakness in accepting Jarred Gurner's silence — a 
silence which would have to be paid for by-and-by. He knew 
well enough that in permitting this man to befriend him — to 
stand between him and the law — he had sunk below the level 
of his former life. Straightforwardness, manliness would have 



174 Lost for Love. 

urged him to stand the brunt of what he had done ; to tell his 
own story, and hazard all consequences. 

But against this there was the fact that the truth, tell it how 
he might, meant ruin. He must confess that angry scuffle — 
confess that deadly blow. Where would his professional status 
be after such a revelation ? What would be his chance with 
Flora ? To speak the truth was to lose all ; and the truth could 
not help the dead. 

Thus, after prolonged deliberation, he told himself that if 
there had been ever so much time for consideration, he could 
hardly have decided otherwise. That strange vagabond had 
summed-up the exigencies of his case wisely enough. To potter 
over the dead man, to be found beside him, would have been 
ruin. His present position was mean, despicable. Granted; 
but he had been obliged to choose between that degradation and 
the loss of all he valued. 

The week stretched to ten days, and Mr. Chamney was no 
wiser as to Walter's fate. Flora grew worse ; increasing languor, 
increasing disinclination to live. She had no fever. Delirium 
did not drift her fancies out of the real world into a region of 
distorted shadows. She only turned her face to the wall, refused 
meat and drink, hardly answered even when her father spoke to 
her — seemed to be slipping gently out of life. 

Dr. Ollivant counselled removal from Branscomb ; she had 
just enough strength for the journey ; but in a little while it 
would be too late. 

"You mustn't take her back to Fitzroy-square," he said; 
" everything would remind her of Mr. Leyburne. You ought 
to take some nice rooms out at Kensington, where the world 
would look fresh and bright to her. A delicate flower like that 
will only flourish under certain conditions of atmosphere." 

"I'll do anything you like," answered Mark helplessly; "only 
don't let me lose her. I didn't think loss could come near me, 
who have so short a time to live ; yet now it seems as if my 
brief span may be long enough to outlast all I love." 

" Don't be downhearted, Mark ; you shall see our pretty 
flower bloom again. Shall I telegraph to my mother, and tell 
her to get you some nice rooms near Kensington Gardens before 
two o'clock to-morrow ? She'll do anything I ask her." 

"Do, Ollivant. We'll travel to-morrow if you think it 
wise." 

" I look upon it as our only hope of rousing her. She won't 
leave off grieving, of course, for some time to come ; but one 
great incentive to grief, the scenes which recall her lost lover, 
will be removed." 

The doctor rode over to Long Sutton, and despatched his 



Lost fbr Love. 175 

telegram ; so carefully worded, so full of precautions to secure 
his patient's comfort and well-being. The rooms were to be 
cheerful and airy, with a southern aspect, if possible ; within 
five minutes' walk of Kensington Gardens ; brightly furnished ; 
not the usual dismal lodging-house pattern. Mrs. Ollivant 
would have hard work to find such model apartments. 

When the intended journey was announced to Flora, there 
came a difficulty. The girl rose up in her bed with newly- 
awakened vitality, and turned angrily upon the doctor. 

" What," she exclaimed, " leave Branscomb before we know 
what has become of Walter ! I did not think you were so 
cruel, Dr. Ollivant." 

" Do you think I have been wanting in my efforts to find him, 
Flora ? " asked the doctor. 

" I don't know; it is too soon to give up ; it would be heart- 
less to go away aud leave him to perish, lost perhaps on some 
dreary moor or in some wood. The people here will take no 
trouble when we are gone." 

" Let me say a few words to her alone," said the doctor, 
appealing to Mark, who stood at the foot of the bed watching 
his daughter with a countenance of despair. 

He obeyed his old schoolfellow without a word, and slipped 
quietly from the room, but only to the landing outside, where 
he waited the issue of events. 

" Shall I tell you the truth, Flora P " asked Dr. Ollivant, 
when they were alone. 

" Of course; what do I want but the truth?" she answered 
impatiently, those eyes that were wont to be all softness bright 
with anger. 

" Then, believe me, all has been done that can be done. If 
we were to stay here a year, and spend all your father's fortune 
upon the search, we could do no good. Every reasonable 
inquiry has been made, in every direction. Either Mr. Leyburne 
has gone away of his own accord, or the sea has swallowed him 
up. The latter seems to me the more likely event." 

" Why did I ever wish him to come here ! " said Flora. " It 
was my fault for being so anxious to have him here. And he 
came to his death ! " 

"Flora," said the doctor, taking the burning little hand, "wan 
Mr. Leyburne the only person you ever loved ? " 

" How can you ask me such a question, when there is papa, 
whom I love with all my heart ? " 

" Do you ? And yet you behave as if the world had only held 
Walter Leyburne — as if your father's anxiety, your father's 
\$rief, were indifferent to you. You lie upon this bed, and turn 
four face to the wall, and give yourself ud to despair, because 



176 Lost for Love. 

one man has gone out of the world, forgetting that you ara 
breaking your father's heart — that you are killing him." 

" Dr. Ollivant, how can you say so ! " cried Flora, startled. 

" I only tell you the truth. You know that your father is ill; 
that with him life is held by a feeble thread; but you do not 
know how ill he is, or how attenuated that thread of life. The 
whole bitter truth has hitherto been mercifully kept from you. 
But now it is time you should know the worst. For your 
father's complaint, grief or anxiety of any kind is full o f 
danger." 

" What is my father's complaint ? Tell me the worst." 

" Chronic heart-disease." 

Flora cast herself, sobbing, on the pillows. Her lost lover 
was forgotten ; the shadow of that deeper, greater loss darkened 
her narrow world. A dull dead feeling of despair came upon 
her. Was she doomed to lose all — she for whom a fortnight 
ago life had seemed all brightness P 

" Is there no cure ? " she asked at last, raising herself again 
from the pillows, and turning to the doctor with streaming eyes. 
" You who are so clever, you can surely cure him." 

"The age of miracles is past, Flora, and nothing less than a 
miracle could cure your father. He knows that as well as I 
know it. What I can do by care and treatment to prolong his 
life I will do, you may be very sure of that ; but the course you 
have taken during the last ten days is calculated to undo all the 
good I can do — nay, more than that, is likely to have a fatal 
effect." 

" 0, how wicked I have been, not to think more of my father 
— the first and dearest in the world — my father, whom I love 
better than life ! " 

" Your grief has agonized him. Your refusal to eat — your 
silence — your obstinate determination not to be comforted, even 
by him — think how these must have tortured him. Every pang 
you make that weak heart suffer brings him one step nearer to 
the end." 

" 0, 1 have been out of my senses," cried Flora ; " how else 
could I have been forgetful of my father ! I thank you, Dr. 
Ollivant, even for telling me the worst," she went on, choked 
with tears. " It has been a hard blow ; but better than ignor- 
ance — better than false security. My dear, dear father ! He 
shall never more be pained by any selfish grief of mine, so long 
as God spares him to me. I will make his repose, his happiness, 
the single study of my life. Dr. Ollivant, be careful of him 
— prolong his life." 

" Be sure I will do my uttermost, Flora. Shall I call your 
father in again ? " 



Lost for Love. 177 

"Yes." 

She dried her tears hurriedly. Mark saw no trace of her 
grief as he came beside her bed and bent down to kiss her. 

" Dr. Ollivant has been scolding me, papa," she said, with 
something of her old bright way, " and I mean to behave better 
in future. I will go back to London to-morrow, if you like." 

" Ollivant thinks it will be better for you, darling." 

"I will do whatever is best for you — whatever you wish, 
papa. And now, if you'll send Jane to me, I think I'll get up, 
and come down-stairs and sit with you while you dine." 

"Will you really, my pet?" cried Mark, delighted; "that 
will make me quite happy again." 

Mr. Chamney and the doctor withdrew, and presently Flora 
rose from the bed where she had cast herself in her despair, with 
a wicked hope that she might never rise from it again. She let 
the housemaid dress her, and smooth out the tangled brown 
hair, and put on the blue ribbons which she had worn for 
Walter's gratification. He had made a little water-colour 
sketch of her in those very ribbons. And now she was going 
back to a world in which there was no Walter Leyburne. She 
would hear of painters and of pictures, and of all life's brightest 
things, and know that he had no more part in them ; he who 
had been so ambitious, and had hoped to conquer kingdoms in 
that wide world, the future. The sun came streaming in upon 
her from the open window ; there lay the blue bright sea — the 
sea which perhaps was his grave — the very fairness of this 
world, upon which she had turned her back for the last blank 
miserable week, made it hateful to her. Such a smiling decep- 
tive world, full of sorrow and death. 

The maid let in all the sunshine. 

" It's a lovely afternoon, miss," she said; "and it'll do you a 
world of good to go down-stairs and walk in the garden a bit 
with your par or Dr. Hollinfount, so anxious as they've both 
been about you too." 

Flora went down to the drawing-room, looking almost as 
white as her dress, and contrived to answer her father's anxious 
look with a smile. There was heroic effort in that smile, though 
Flora was a small unheroic peison. Mark proposed a stroll in 
the garden before dinner, and. Flora went with him, and looked 
at the carnations and the geraniums and verbenas and silvery- 
leaved plants with which the nurseryman had embellished the 
garden, at Mr. Chamney's expense ; and at the youthful myrtle 
on the wall which was to climb to the roof in years to come. 
She passed the green bank on which she had sat when Walter 
proposed to her, and gave a pathetic look at the spot, remember- 
ing how happy she had been then, and how full the world was 



178 Lost for Love. 

of hope. She sat by her father while he ate his dinner, with 
better appetite than he had had since Walter's disappearance, 
and she even made a faint effort to take something herself — a 
blade or two of asparagus — a morsel of chicken — a few of the 
strawberries which Dr. Ollivant's care had supplied. She tried 
to smile — tried to speak of indifferent things ; and there was 
something in that forced cheerfulness which sharpened the 
doctor's agony of remorse. It was not Walter alone he had 
slain by that burst of passion on the cliff — he had killed hope 
and joy in this gentle heart. 



CHAPTER XX. 

" Thus I wander'd, oompanion'd of grief and forlorn. 
Till I wish'd for that land where my being was born." 

In a long dormitory, where two rows of pretty little white- 
draperied iron bedsteads were ranged at mathematical distances, 
Louisa Gurner awoke to the educational world — awoke from 
feverishly vivid dreams, in which she had been walking with 
Walter Leyburne in the chestnut groves of Hampton Court; 
dreams of so improper a character that, had they been published, 
they would have been sufficient in their enormity to warrant 
the strange damsel's expulsion from Thurlow House. 

The stranger, hopelessly wide awake at half-past four in the 
morning, looked down that long vista of beds, and reflected that 
among all those sleepers she could not number a friend. Fifteen 
pairs of eyes would open by-and-by at the discordant clamour 
of the gong, and all would greet Miss Gurner with the same 
cold wondering stare, as a new girl who had nothing to recom- 
mend her to their friendly notice, and much in her disfavour. 

Loo gazed along those rows of sleepers, and shuddered. Had 
she awakened in Millbank prison she could hardly have felt 
more completely miserable. Nay, at Millbank she would have 



Lost for Love. 179 

been better off, for she might have had a cell to herself, or at 
best only one companion, and at Millbank no one could have 
looked down upon her. 

Here she felt herself the object of universal contempt. She 
was a year older than the eldest pupil ; and while that happy 
eldest pupil was crowning the triumphs of a prolonged scholastic 
career by private lessons in Latin, chemistry, and Italian singing, 
exalted even above that senior class in which she had . long dis- 
tinguished herself, poor Loo had been placed in the nethermost 
rank of little ones, where she sat at the lowest end of a stumpy 
form, feeling herself a huge grotesque figure, among small 
children who openly laughed at her ignorance. 

Gazing at the cold cleanliness, the rigid order of that spacious 
dormitory, Loo's thoughts reverted to the back-parlour in 
Voysey- street, and that scene of homely muddle upon which 
her eyes had been wont to open. The battered ancient furniture 
crowded in that narrow space, the table still scattered with the 
utensils of last night's supper, the saucepans in the fender, 
Jarred's pipes and tobacco-jar on the mantelpiece, the dingy 
old pictures on the walls, the stained and worn old crimson-cloth 
curtain that kept out the north wind, the big arm-chair in which 
she was wont to sit after supper — now filled with a kind of 
effigy of Mrs. Gurner, composed of that lady's empty garments, 
which from long use had assumed the shape of the wearer — the 
sleeping grandmother's wrinkled face and frilled nightcap of 
doubtful purity : Loo thought of these things with a regretful 
sigh. 

She had hated Voysey-street with all her heart; but this 
bleak unfriendly outer world seemed harder than Voysey-street. 
There, at least, she had been like the rest of the inhabitants ; here 
she felt herself a Pariah. She would rather have had to get up 
and clean that dingy back-parlour, blacklead the grate, lay and 
light the fire, fill the kettle, run out for rolls and Yarmouth 
bloaters, squabble with the milkman, go through all the familiar 
daily round of sordid household toil, than rise presently to 
meet the blank gaze of those unfamiliar faces, to sit at the 
breakfast-table fed and provided for, but unnoticed and unloved. 

Miss Tompion's young ladies looked at her with the eye of 
suspicion ; she knew and felt that it was so. They had asked 
her certain regulation questions as to her belongings and past 
career; to which she had replied with resolute reserve. Was 
she an orphan and a ward in Chancery P No. Had she a 
father and mother ? No ; only a father. What was his pro- 
fession? An artist. What kind of artist P A picture- 
restorer. 

The girls looked at one another doubtfully, and Miss Port- 



ISO Lost for Love. 

Blade, the young lady who was finishing her education in Latin 
and chemistry, and who had taken the inquiry upon herself, 
elevated her eyebrows, as much as to say this was very low 
indeed. 

" A picture-restorer ! " she repeated. " Isn't that the same as 
a picture-cleaner ? " 

" I believe so." 

" Then I'd say ' cleaner' in future if I were you, Miss Gurner. 
It doesn't sound consistent for a young lady in the lower fourth 
to use fine words. And, pray, where does your papa, the 
picture-cleaner, reside ? " looking at the others as much as to 
say, " Observe the humour of the situation." 

" In Yoysey-street," answered Loojsulkily. 

"Is that anywhere near Eccleston-square P " asked Miss 
Marchfield, the belle of the school, who lived in that locality. 

" I don't know." 

" 0, come, you must know if Yoysey-street is in Belgravia." 

" I don't know Belgravia." 

" What, not after living all your life in London ? " 

" I hardly know anything of London except the street I lived 
in," returned Loo, flaming out upon them with flashing eyes 
and crimson cheeks. " I have come to school because I am 
ignorant — that's why I sit on the form with the little ones, 
that's why I am here. My father is not a gentleman, and 
Yoysey-street is not a street that ladies and gentlemen live in. 
The Yoysey-street people are common and ignorant and poor. 
I have come here to learn to be a lady, if I can — though if I'm 
only to be taught by example, I don't think there's much 
chance for me." 

" Dear me ! " exclaimed Miss Portslade, colouring, while some 
of the other girls tittered slightly, not sorry to see " Portslade " 
get the worst of it. " We are learning to be satirical — I 
suppose that's the first effect of education ! " 

Loo went back to her exercise-book, and laboured earnestly at 
the rudiments of the French tongue; and the young ladies, 
opining that they had obtained the utmost information to be 
extracted from her, asked her no further questions. There 
seemed nothing interesting in her circumstances. Had they 
known that she was an exile from her father's roof, and that a 
handsome young man was to pa,y for her education, they would 
not have let her off so lightly. These romantic circumstances 
might even have elevated her above their contempt; but Loo 
kept religious silence upon the subject. 

Miss Tompion had been requested to purchase an outfit for 
her pupil, and had received no limit as to expense. But being 
a person who prided herself upon her conscientiousness and 



Lost for Love. 181 

uprightness — virtues which she brought to the front on all 
occasions, and pushed to the border of severity — Miss Tompion 
was careful to purchase such garments as were suitable to 
Louisa's somewhat indefinite position, and to her future humble 
career as a bread-winner. Gowns of plainest material and 
Quaker-like hue did Miss Tompion procure for her pupil — no 
silks, no trimmings, none of the small unnecessary graces of 
the toilet. When Loo came down dressed for church in her 
claret- coloured silk on the first Sunday, Miss Tompion narrowly 
escaped a fainting-fit. 

"Never again let me behold you in that dreadful dress, Miss 
Gurner," exclaimed the instructor of youth, when she had 
recovered the normal tranquillity of her spirits ; " a dress 
eminently inappropriate to your position, and most repugnant 
to my taste. Believe me, that your first appearance in this 
house in that dress would have been sufficient to secure your 
exclusion, had the references afforded me been less satisfactory 
than they were. Fold it neatly and place it in the bottom of 
your trunk, if you please, Miss Gurner, and come back to me in 
that nice gray alpaca which I selected for you." 

Loo went up to the wardrobe room — a bleak repository of 
boxes and best raiment — and put away the obnoxious gown, 
but not until she had showered the rich red silk with scalding 
tears of shame and anger — not until she had kissed the garment 
with her hot dry lips. 

" He gave it to me," she gasped, " and I love it for his sake — 
and I hate the ugly nasty things she buys me. Just as if I 
was some poor creature who had gone wrong, and was here to 
be reformed. I feel myself marked out from all the rest even 
by my clothes — as if that were needed to make a difference, 
when they are so unlike me in all things belonging to them. 
Their fathers and mothers, and uncles and aunts, and cousins 
and friends — people coming to see them — people sending them 

Earcels — people writing them letters ; while I stand alone — and 
ave no one — not even poor old grandmother. It would do me 
good to hear her nagging — after Miss Tompion." 

The beginning of education seemed the weariest work to 
Louisa Gurner. She had only little bits to learn — little bits 
of geography and arithmetic, English grammar and French 
grammar — and a bald twaddling English history to read with 
her small companions. The spoon meat suitable to babes of 
eight or nine years was deemed suitable to her because she too 
was a beginner. In all the educational process there was 
nothing she could grasp at. Bald facts about the Heptarchy 
and William the Conqueror — an infantile history of Rome from 
the babyhood and youthful squabbles of Romulus and Remus 



182 Lost for Love. 

to the age of the Caesars — what was there in these to charm 
Loo, who had read English and classic history in Shakespeare's 
living page — who had breathed Egypt's warm airs with Antony 
and Cleopatra, and followed mighty Queen Margaret from the 
day of her youthful pride to the hour of ruin, bereavement, and 
exile ? Wearied out by the inanity of her daily labours- 
labours which she executed with honest earnest care, for his 
sake who had placed her in this seminary — Loo ventured to ask 
Miss Tompion for some books to read in the evening. 

" With pleasure, my dear Miss Gurner," replied the school- 
mistress graciously, " if you have conscientiously completed 
your studies and prepared yourself for to-morrow." 

" I've learned all my lessons, and finished my exercises, and I 
think I could do a good deal more, if you please, Miss Tompion, 
if I were allowed. I feel so out of place among those little 
girls — so big and awkward on that low form — and they laugh 
at me. I'm sure I could learn three times as much — I don't 
feel as if I was getting on a bit." 

"I am sorry to observe the indications of a discontented 
spirit, Miss Gurner," said Miss Tompion with severity. "It 
was my wish that you should be placed in the lower fourth, 
that you should ascend by easy gradations, and not overtax your 
capacity at the outset. Eemember that in almost all things you 
are as ignorant as those small children at whose childish mirth 
you complain. It is my desire that you should be thoroughly 
grounded, Miss Gurner — that you should begin at the begin- 
ning — and not acquire a mere surface varnish of education, 
which would wear off as quickly as it was attained." 

Loo blushed at that allusion to varnish, thinking of her 
father's pictures. 

" If you feel yourself out of place on the form, you may have 
a cane chair at the end of the bench," said Miss Tompion. " I 
am willing to make that concession to your feelings." 

" Thank you, ma'am. I shall feel less ridiculous in a chair." 

" And now what kind of book would you like ? " asked Miss 
Tompion, glancing at some well-filled shelves of neatly-bound 
volumes immediately behind her chair, volumes which the 
pupils were permitted to borrow. 

"Poetry, if you please, ma'am. Might I have a volume 
of Shakespeare ? " 

" Shakespeare ! " exclaimed Miss Tompion, horrified. " Do 
you suppose that is a book I would place in the hands of any 
pupil in this establishment ? Shakespeare ! You horrify me, 
Miss Gurner. I believe there is an expurgated edition, intended 
for the domestic circle, published by the estimable firm of 
Chambers ; but until they can expurgate the subjects of many 



Lost for Love. 183 

of the plays, no edition of Shakespeare shall enter any domes- 
tic circle where I keep watch and ward. I will select a book 
tor you, Miss Gurner." 

Whereupon Miss Tompion handed the abashed Loo a 
dryasdust volume of missionary travels in the South Sea 
Islands, with repellant portraits of copper-coloured converts, 
and prosy descriptions of the bread-fruit tree. Poor Loo yawned 
drearily over the South Sea Islanders, and could not interest 
herself in the question of their ultimate conversion. She re- 
membered how many heathens there were around and about 
Voysey-street — heathens who heard church-bells pealing Sun- 
day after Sunday, and yet stayed at home to smoke and drink 
and idle, and perhaps wind up the day with a wife-beating. 
Loo remembered the general condition of Voysey-street, and 
wondered that people should go so far afield for converts. 

Every day made the school routine more irksome to her. 
The gates of knowledge were opened such a little way; she 
felt she had learned a great deal more from Walter Leyburne's 
books, in those stolen night-watches while her grandmother 
was asleep, than she could ever learn from Miss Storks, the 
instructress of the little ones, whose homcepathic doses of 
information only wearied her. A few dry dates; a little bit 
of general information about the castor-oil tree, and the process 
which converts hops into beer, or barley into malt. Hard 
uninteresting facts were administered to her like powders. If 
Miss Storks had given her Schiller and a German dictionary, 
the eager desire to know a new poet might have overcome all 
difficulties ; nay, difficulties would have inspired this vigorous 
nature. But the easy twaddle of the lower fourth disgusted her 
with the whole business of education. Her ardent longing for 
enlightenment would have given a zest to toil. She would have 
laboured early and late, had she felt herself gaining ground, 
climbing upward to that mountain land tenanted by the spirits 
of the wise and great; bat instead of studies that would call 
upon her industry and develop the latent power of her mind, 
Miss Storks gave her infantine lessons, which she repeated 
parrotwise, in common with girls in pinafores and plaited hair. 

" I should have to be here ten years before I knew as much 
as Miss Portslade," she thought despairingly ; " and she seems 
a mass of ignorance, compared with Walter Leyburne." 

She, the Pariah, had ventured to question that exalted 
Brahmin, the most exalted girl in the school. She had talked 
to Miss Portslade of poets and painters, and had been surprised 
by the narrow views of the damsel, whose acquaintance with 
the world of imagination had never gone beyond the choice mor- 
sels in a gift book or selection for recitation, and who knew 



184 Lost for Love. 

about as much of art as the great gray cockatoo on the brazen 
stand in the ballroom — a big bare apartment opening on the 
garden, where Miss Tompion's pupils took their dancing les- 
sons. 

It was a hard thing to sit in that peopled class-room, and feel 
herself friendless — to see the girls with arms round one ano- 
ther's waists in confidential talk — to know that all had their 
favourite companions, their friendships, their secrets, their 
various bonds of union, and to know herself outside all. After 
that cross-examination by Miss Portslade, her fate was sealed — 
the fiat had gone forth — she was a vulgar common person, 
whom it was not the correct thing to know. Her very presence 
in the school was an offence against those high-bred young 
ladies. Miss Portslade's father was a half-pay colonel at Bath ; 
whereby she looked down upon the Miss Collinsons and the Miss 
Pycrofts, whose parents were coachbuilders and Italian ware- 
house people ; and only tolerated Miss Badgeman, whose father 
brewed. Miss Portslade had remarked that the line must be 
drawn somewhere. At no superior school in Bath would an Italian 
warehouseman's daughter be admitted. Miss Portslade had 
shut her eyes to the degradation of Italian warehouses ; but 
now a picture-cleaner's daughter was foisted upon them, Miss 
Portslade felt that the line must be drawn ; and the line being 
drawn, severed Louisa Gurner from the young persons among 
whom she lived. The barest civility was shown her ; she was as 
lonely as a leper in an Eastern city ; nay, more alone, for she 
had not even fellow-lepers with whom to keep company. Some 
soft-hearted damsels among Miss Tompion's pupils looked at the 
Pariah with eyes of pity, as she sat isolated at the darkest end 
of the schoolroom conning her brief lessons. These yearned to 
show her some kindness — to speak a few cheering words — • 
yearned, but dared not : the fear of Miss Portslade was before 
their eyes. There is nothing more slavish than a schoolgirl ; 
and Miss Portslade's sarcasm was considered crushing. 

It had been decided at an early stage of Louisa's initiation 
that she was not only vulgar, but ugly. Those large dark eyes 
were not proper — too large, too dark, too brilliant when she was 
angry. The long black lashes were tolerable enough, or would 
have been passable in a better-born young person. The dark- 
pale complexion was simply abominable. 

" I wonder if she ever washes," mused Miss Portslade. 

" I should think she must be a Jewess, with those eyes," 
remarked Miss Badgeman. 

"Or perhaps her mother was a gipsy, and sold brooms," 
speculated Miss Collinson. 

" A good idea, Collinson. It's like you to put a spoke in her 



U)st for Jjove. 185 

wheel," retorted Miss Portslade, with a happy allusion to the 
coach-building business, whereat Miss Collinson blushed. 

The general opinion about her ugliness found its way some- 
how or other to Loo's ears. The little ones — either egged-on by 
some malicious elder or spontaneously spiteful — communicated 
the effect of that Veiling ericht in which Miss Portslade was 
chief magistrate. They told Loo what had been said of her 
complexion and of her eyes. 

" Did your mother really sell brooms ?" asked Miss Flopson, 
the lowest in the lower fourth. 

" Xo, she didn't," answered Loo; "but I'd ever so much 
rather sell brooms than stay here. You can tell your fine young 
ladies that." 

The speech was duly reported in Miss Elopson's shrill treble. 

" Of course," said Miss Portslade, pausing in an Italian 
theme, in which she was descanting on the merits of Petrarch 
and Tasso in her fine Italian hand, " anybody could see that she 
has those low instincts. She is out of place here, and I'm glad 
she feels it." 

Louisa wondered whether that was a true bill which charged 
her with ugliness. It was not the first time she had been 
reproached for lack of beauty. Her father, when in a good 
humour had praised her for her good looks — told her she had as 
fine a pair of eyes as you could meet in a day's walk, and that 
there'd be money bid for her yet, if she took care of herself. 
But when out of sorts — when the feathers of this bird of prey 
had been unpleasantly ruffled — Mr. Gurner had been wont to 
upbraid his only child — to call her black as Erebus, and ugly as 
a toad. Her grandmother had been wont to wail and lament 
because Loo favoured the G-urners rather than the old lady's 
own people, who were all fair, with aquiline noses and auburn 
hair, and appeared to have been a race alike distinguished for 
dignity and good looks. What of Walter? Had he thought 
her iandsome ? 

He had hardly told her so ! and though he had made her the 
model for two of his pictures, it was possible that beauty was 
not the characteristic cf either heroine she had been required to 
represent. Lamia, the serpent- woman, must be at best a semi- 
diabolical personage. Esmeralda, the gipsy-girl, crouching on 
the prison-floor, could have been but a wild unkempt creature. 
He had seldom praised her beauty in all their free and happy 
talk. But he had done something better during that night 
journey from Kingston. He had told her that he loved her ; 
with passion, with insistence had repeated the confession of his 
love; told her how he loved her in spite of himself ; loved her all 
the while he had been striving his hardest to love some one 



186 Lost for Love. 

else ; and that he would marry her and none other, if she would 
have him. 

She had been brave enough to reject him ; to say no ; not 
once, but many times ; not in the Kingston *road only, but after- 
wards on the day he had brought her to Thurlow House. She 
had held his future happiness, his prospects, above her own 
content, and had said him nay, very proud that he had loved her 
well enough to contemplate such a sacrifice. 

Thus, remembering that he had loved her, that decision of the 
schoolgirls about her ugliness troubled her very little. It was 
enough to know that she was good enough to be loved by him, 
fair enough to please the painter's eye, sweet enough to have 
crept unawares into his heart. Let the rest of the world con- 
demn her as ugly and vulgar. She had won the only praise she 
cared for. 

How she thought of him and dreamed of him in her new 
loneliness amidst an w friendly crowd ! There were certain 
intervals in which she was free to walk in the garden— the old 
secluded garden, with its high red-brick walls, and ancient turf, 
soft and deep, and century-old espaliers. The house was to be 
pulled down shortly to make room for a railway station ; but in 
the meantime it was a fine old mansion — a relic of an old world. 
The schoolgirls could hear the hum of Kensington High-street 
from that shady old garden, but they could see no more of the 
outer world than the roofs and chimneys that rose above the 
wall. 

Loo walked alone, and thought of the old pleasant easy-going 
days in Voysey-street — Voysey-street which she r ad hated so 
intensely while she inhabited it, but which she looked back upon 
now with a tender fondness. How happy she had been there, 
after all ! What Bohemian ease and freedom of life ! No 
sneers, no cold looks ; nothing to endure but a little harmless 
nagging from Mrs. Gurner, monotonous as the dropping of 
water, and no more injurious ; or an occasional outbreak of tem- 
per from Jarred. That had been bad, certainly ; but he was her 
father and she had pitied him and loved him, and blamed the 
hardness of Fate and the world for all his shortcomings, She 
had believed what he told her so often — that he would have 
been a better man if Fortune had used him better. 

Here there were no angry looks, no lightning glances that 
made her quail ; no gradual change to good humour and friend- 
liness, generally culminating in a hot supper and a jovial even- 
ing ; for Jarred was at his best when he shook himself out of 
an evil temper, and comforted himself with a gill of rum from 
the public-house, and cried Vogue la galere ! Here there were 
only cold indifferent faces, eyes which seemed to overlook her. 



Lost for Love. 187 

The garden was the best place, for there she could get away 
from the superior young ladies who had agreed to ignore her. 
There she could find a shady path, where she could walk up and 
down, and think of the days that were no more. Hard for the 
very young when they have to look back and say, "Yes; that 
was life." 

Loo had been at Thurlow House nearly a month, and Walter 
Leyburne had made no sign of his remembrance of her. At 
parting, when she clung to him, weeping passionately, forgetful 
of all good resolutions — very woman in her sorrow and weak- 
ness — he had comforted her with promises of letters and visits. 
Miss Tompion had allowed them a few minutes — not more than 
five — of farewell, undisturbed by her presence. 

" I'll come to see you, Loo, as soon as I think you've settled 
down a little, and I'll write every week." 

" No, you won't ; you'll go and marry Miss Chamney, and 
forget that there's such a person as I on the face of the earth." 

" Forget you, Loo ! I wish I could. Haven't you told me to 
forget you ? " 

'■ Yes — and it would be best for both of us. But don't do it 
all at once. I had rather you didn't come to see me ; only write 
— do write, Walter ! " speaking his Christian name in that low 
thrilling tone which comes from the depth of a woman's heart 
— rare had been her utterance of that dear name. " You will 
write, won't you, and tell me what you are painting, and if you 
are happy — and — when you are going to be married ? " 

" I wish you wouldn't harp upon that string, Loo. You're 
refused to marry me — so you may as well leave the subject 
alone." 

" I want you to be happy," she said sorrowfully, tenderly, 
looking into his face with her solemn eyes, as if she were trying 
to read the mystery of his thoughts. " Hark ! Miss What's- 
her-name is coming. You will write ? " 

" Yes, Loo ; once a week at the least." 

Once a week, and no letter had come in four long weeks. 
Poor unstable Walter had tried to write from Branscomb and 
had failed. It was too hard a task to write to Loo, when to tell 
her of his daily life was to speak of Flora. He felt that there 
would be a kind of treachery towards both in writing that 
promised letter — so he made up his mind to wait till he got 
back to London, when he would go and see poor Loo, and find 
out how she got on in her new place of existence. 

" It wouldn't do to visit her often, of course," he said to him- 
self; " but just once, to see if she is happy ; nobody could object 
to that." 

Then came that summer afternoon in the garden with 



188 Lost for Love. 

" Epipsychidion," and Flora's gentle joy when he offered her 
that weak heart of his. After that he could not think of Loo 
without a pang — and yet did think of her to his own torture — 
recalling her tears, her agonized look at parting. 

" Poor child, she did not know it was for ever," he thought. 
" Yet she would not have me when I offered myself to her. I 
have no reason to be sorry for her. Perhaps it is for myself I 
am sorry." 

At parting, Walter squeezed a crumpled envelope into 
Louisa's hand, just at the last moment of all, while Miss 
Tompion's eye was upon them. The girl forgot all about this 
paper in the pain of parting. She went straight up to the 
long white bleak bed-chamber which had been shown her — to 
the spotless little bed she was to sleep on, indicated by a neat 
cardboard tablet on the wall above, on which her name was 
written. Beside this narrow couch Loo flung herself, and 
buried her tearful face in the coverlet, and wept as long as her 
tears would flow — wept till the loud clang of the tea-bell pealed 
shrilly through the house, when the forlorn damsel rose, washed 
her face, and smoothed her tangled hair, but could not obliterate 
the traces of those foolish tears. Her eyelids were puffy and 
red; her cheeks white as a sheet of letter-paper. She looked 
a wretched creature to appear before fifty pairs of strange 
eyes. 

Just as she was leaving the room, she spied that crumpled 
paper on the floor by her bed, and ran eagerly to pick it up. 
He had given it to her. It might contain some word of 
comfort. 

Alas, no. Outside the envelope was written, "For pocket- 
money." Inside there was nothing but a twenty-pound bank- 
note. 

She looked at the money as if it were the most despicable 
thing in the world — she who had never had a twenty-pound 
note in her hand before. 

" How good of him ! " she thought ; " but I don't want hia 
money. I'd rather have had a few lines of comfort." 



Lost for Love. 189 



CHAPTEK XXI. 

" Rich is the freight, vessel, that thou bearest I 

Beauty and virtue, 
Fatherly cares and filial veneration, 
Hearts which are proved and strengthen'd by affliction, 
Jlanly resentment, fortitude, and action, 

Womanly goodness ; 
All with which Nature halloweth her daughters, 
Tenderness, truth, and purity and meekness, 
Piety, patience, faith, and resignation, 

Love and devotement." 

The time came when Thurlow House grew almost unendurable 
to the lonely child of Bohemian Voysey-street. No star of 
hope shone across that barren desert of monotonous daily life. 
Those infinitesimal lessons of the lower fourth, that slow and 
gradual process which Miss Tompion called laying a foundation, 
could not employ an intellect keen enough to have grappled 
with the difficulties of serious study; to have climbed the 
ragged mountain of knowledge with light and rapid spring, 
from crag to crag, instead of creeping up Miss Storks's obscure 
pathway at a snail's pace, hampered and hindered by small 
dunces in pinafores. 

The thought of how little she was learning was to the last 
degree irritating to Louisa Gurner. She could have borne the 
dreary exile in that unfriendly home, if her progress had been 
rapid, if she had felt that Walter's experiment would be crowned 
with success, and that he would have reason to be proud of her 
progress a year or two hence ; proud of his protegee, even though 
lie might be Flora Chamney's husband. 

But to know that his money was wasted ; that her education 
was progressing by inches ; that there was nothing Miss Storks 
taught her which she could not have taught herself much more 
quickly! The night-school in Cave-square would have done 
more for her than Thurlow House was doing. 

Nor was Walter's chief purpose being fulfilled. She was not 
learning to be a lady. Her only experience of the genus " lady " 
was derived from young persons who cut her, or talked at her, 
according to the humour of the moment ; who were boastful and 
arrogant, loud-voiced and shrill of laughter ; who called one 
another by their surnames without prefix, and whose various 



190 Lost for Love. 

claims to distinction were alike based upon the material advan- 
tages of their " people." 

Louisa wondered if Flora Chamney, sweet and flower-like, in 
any wise resembled the noisy herd at Thurlow House. Perhaps 
individually, in the kinder atmosphere of home, the Thurlow 
House damsels might be gentle and gracious, refined and 
amiable. But in the aggregate they were essentially vulgar. 
Louisa contemplated them with wonder, and saw no chance of 
learning to be a lady in such companionship. 

One day her patience suddenly deserted her. Miss Storks 
was out of temper, wearied by the stupidity and troublesome- 
ness of the small children, and wreaked her wrath on poor Loo, 
who was bright and ready enough. Loo " answered " — an 
unpardonable offence against the laws of Thurlow House ; Miss 
Storks replied with a sneer at Miss Gurner's antecedents; at 
which the small sycophants laughed their loudest by way of 
conciliating the irate Storks. 

Loo bounced up from her seat, and flung her book upon the 
table. 

" I will never learn another lesson here," she cried indig- 
nantly. " Mr. Leyburne does not pay his money that I may 
be insulted. He shall pay no more." 

She ran out of the room, and up to the dormitory, caring 
very little what penalties she might have brought on herself by 
this open rebellion. 

She had not been ten minutes in her retirement before she 
received a ceremonious note, written on highly-glazed paper, 
and delivered by the housemaid. 

Miss Tompion presented her compliments to Miss Gurner, 
and having heard, with much pain, of her extraordinary exhi- 
bition of temper, requested that she would be good enough to 
remain in her own apartment until solitary reflection had taught 
her to govern her evil passions, and rendered her fit to associate 
with young ladies. The last words underlined. 

" I don't want any more association with such young ladies 
as those," thought Loo angrily, as she tore up Miss Tompion's 
solemn missive, and threw the scraps of paper out of the win- 
dow, to flutter lightly down to the lawn below on the summer 
air. " I don't want to have any more to do with them. What 
is the use of my staying here to be solitary and miserable, when 
I'm doing no good for myself, only wasting his money ? I must 
get away somehow before he has to pay another term in ad- 
vance." 

She knelt down by the open window, looking up at the bright 
blue sky above those dingy old house-tops yonder.the rugged 
t'led roofs of old Kensington— time-blackened chimneys, not 



Lost for Love. 191 

nnpicturesque gables; looking up and pondering her future. 
But she was not thinking how she could adapt her nature to the 
society of Miss Tompion's pupils ; she was only thinking how 
she could get away from Thurlow House altogether. 

Strange, perhaps, but this young Bohemian could not exist 
in an utterly loveless atmosphere. There had not been very 
much affection for her in Voysey-street ; she had not tasted all 
the sweets of parental love ; had not basked in a grandmother's 
fond smiles. But Jarred and Mrs. Gurner had cared for her a 
little. They had not been without their moments of tenderness. 
She had been " my girl " and " my lass " to Jarred when he was 
in a good temper. She had been "Loo dear" with Mrs. Gur- 
ner, when things went smoothly ; and she had been " our Loo " 
even at the worst. She belonged to them, and in her heart of 
hearts she loved them dearly — yes, even the discontented grand- 
mother. 

Here, she belonged to no one. She was an intruder, a wan- 
derer from a lower world, who had pushed her way into this 
exalted sphere, and was made to feel herself at once unwelcome 
and out of place. 

" I won't stand it any longer," said Loo, looking up at the 
blue sky with its fleecy drifting clouds; "I'll run away. I 
can't go back to father, after his turning me out of doors. I'll 
emigrate — go to Australia. What's that place where Mr- 
Chamney earned all his money ? Queensland. Mr. Leyburne 
has shares in some of the ships that go there. I've heard him 
talk about them. Ships that carry out hundreds of emigrants 
to a great fertile country where there is room enough and food 
enough for them all. I'll go to Queensland. Domestic servants 
are always wanted, thy say. And I know how to do housework. 
I've had plenty of it in my time. And I should get well paid 
there, and might save money in a good many years, and be a 
lady by-and-by. And I should have an hour or two at night, 
when my work was done, to read as I used in Voysey-street; 
time to educate myself better than Miss Storks would educate 
me in three miserable years." 

This impulsive young person was quick to decide where her 
feelings were strong. She had money, that bank-note which 
Walter had given her — a secret hoard of which she had thought 
with thankfulness in her hours of despondency, a sum which 
would assist her flight at any time. 

The tea-bell rang while she was meditating this awful step. 
Six o'clock. In two hours more it would be almost dark^the 
soft summer darkness. She knew all the habits of the house. 
Prayers were read at eight. The great hall-door was not 
fastened until half-past. While the whole school was at prayer 



192 Lost for Love. 

in the dining-room, she might go down with a small I undle of 
clothes, and slip quietly out into the forecourt. The tall iron 
gate would be locked, but the key was left in the lock until the 
chief housemaid went out at half- past eight to lock up for the 
night. Any one coming to Thurlow House after that hour was 
received with such drawing of bolts and turning of keys and 
clanking of chains, as made him keenly conscious of his un- 
timeous visit. 

Two hours, two slow silent hours, and she would be outside 
Thurlow House, and free. She thought of the white-sailed 
ship, the pathless sea, that ocean which her eyes had never 
beheld out of a picture. She thought of the homely common 
people who would be her companions. No contempt would she 
meet with from them. She knew how kind people were in 
Voysey-street, how friendly, how ready to help, how interested in 
one another's welfare. Fond of scandal, it must be owned, and 
not unwilling to throw the first stone ; but ready to pick up the 
pelted victim, and take her into their houses, and bind up her 
wounds and comfort her, when the stoning was over. 

Would her flight be an act of ingratitude towards Walter, 
the benefactor who had wished to educate and make her a lady ? 
In seeming, perhaps, but not in reality. It was the best thing 
she could do for him, to remove herself out of his path for ever 
— an element of perplexity, a cause of trouble gone from his 
life. He had looked so sorry for her, so distressed, so embar- 
rassed at that dismal parting, when her fortitude had altogether 
deserted her, and she had shed her foolish tears upon his 
breast. 

Better, far better that she should be on the other side of the 
world, as far as distance could remove her from the painter and 
his young wife. Better for him, happier for her. 

" Perhaps I may cure myself of loving him — in Australia," 
she said to herself. 

Some tea was brought her — tea only in name. A pint mug 
of tepid cocoa, a plate of piled-up bread-and-butter — square 
blocks of stalish bread faintly smeared with some fatty prepara- 
tion — an abundant, but not an appetising meal. Miss Gurner 
did not even look at it. 

Time wore on ; the sky grew yellow above those ancient roofs, 
then red, then opal. The great bell rang for prayers, the harsh 
cruel bell whose clamour had so often recalled her from delusive 
dreams. She had prepared her bundle, a neat square package, 
tightly compressed, containing as much as she could venture to 
carry — linen, brush and comb, a second gown, a second pair of 
boots — a bundle which was not big enough to make her con- 
spicuous in the streets. 



Lost for Love. 193 

She examine^ her purse, an old wonn leather portemoimaie. 
It contained the twenty-pound note, and one silver sixpence, the 
residue of those three shillings and sixpence which her father 
had given her for a pair of gloves. 

The sixpence would pay for an omnibus to take her to the 
City. But once in the City, what would she do for a night's 
lodging P It might be too late for her to get on board an emi- 
grant ship, and she knew enough of the world to know that her 
twenty pound note would be looked at with the eye of suspicion. 
It was just possible, however, that she might obtain a night's 
lodging on credit, and get her note changed in the morning. 

Or if the worst befell her, she could walk about the quiet 
city streets till morning. She was not appalled even by this con- 
tingency. She would bear anything to escape from Thurlow 
House and its unfriendly occupants. Nothing occurred tc 
hinder her flight. She went softly down-stairs, through the 
silent house, which would be so noisy half an hour hence when 
the girls were going up to their dormitories. She could hear 
the solemn droning of Miss Tompion's voice as she flitted 
lightly across the hall. 

The great door could not be opened and shut without noise, a 
sound that seemed to reverberate through all the realms of 
space. Loo dashed across the courtyard, scared by that perilous 
clamour, opened the gate with convulsive haste, darted along 
the little bit of quiet bystreet which divided Thurlow House 
from the high-road. 

Once in that busy thoroughfare she felt as if the worst were 
over. A red omnibus was passing ; she hailed it with a shrill 
cry that made the driver bring his horses up sharp, she dashed 
into the muddy road, sprang lightly on the step. " All right ! " 
cried the conductor ; and Loo was sent into the vehicle almost 
head foremost, as the horses pursued their journey with a 
sudden plunge. 

"That's how I like to see a young woman get into a 'bus," 
remarked the conductor admiringly to an outside passenger; 
" none of your shilly-shally : not like your middle-aged parties, 
who keep us waiting five minutes while they're tucking up their 
petticoats, and shutting up their blessed umberellers." 

" Does this omnibus go to the City ? " faltered Loo, when she 
had regained her breath after that frantic flight from the privi- 
leges of polite education. 

" Yes, miss. Mension House — Benk." 

What should she do when she got to the Mansion House P 
Ask her way to the nearest Australian ship ? or try to find the 
office of Messrs. Maravilla and Co., the great shipbrokers, who 
exported emigrants as plentifully as Provence exports sardines, 

N 



194 Lost for Love- 

and packed them almost as closely, yet with extreme considera- 
tion for their comfort P 

The hour was too late for either course. She must either find 
a shelter, or walk the stony-hearted streets, till morning and 
business hours revisited this part of the globe. 

The omnibus deposited her at the Mansion House after a 
journey that seemed long ; a journey through lighted streets 
that had a bright and cheerful look, pleasant to the eye that 
had not of late beheld a lamp-lit city. At the Mansion House, 
Loo asked her way to the Docks, but was unable to state what 
docks she wanted, and therefore received vague instructions to 
keep straight on through Cornhill, and then ask again. 

To Loo, Cornhill was as other hills ; and not seeing any sharp 
incline, she turned off to the right, and strayed over London- 
bridge into the Borough. Here she wandered for an hour or 
so, till weariness began to creep on her. Even that bundle of 
clothes grew heavy, after she had carried it a long time. She 
sat down on the steps of St. George's Church to rest, but was 
told to get up and move on by the guardian of the night. 

Banished from this haven, she turned out of the broad busy 
Borough, still busy even at eleven o'clock, and entered a laby- 
rinth of quieter streets, which led her by various turnings and 
windings into another broad and busy thoroughfare, the Old 
Kent-road. Prom the Old Kent-road she wandered to the New, 
where she looked hopelessly about for some house in which she 
could venture to ask for a night's lodging without fear of 
entering some den of infamy. Those small dingy streets had a 
doubtful look. The dark obscure houses might be the abodes of 
vice and crime. Gaslights and a broad road seemed in some 
measure warrants of respectability. She paused before a coffee- 
house which was just closing for the night — a house that sold no 
spirituous liquors — dealt only in such mild beverages as tea, 
coffee, and cocoa, and might therefore be trusted. Here she 
was told she could have a bedroom ; and emboldened by the 
landlady's face, which was honest and friendly, Loo showed her 
the bank-note as a voucher for her respectability. 

" It's all the money I have about me," she said, " and I 
should like to get it changed if you could tell me where to find 
any one who would change it." 

" If it's a good one I can get it changed fast enough," said 
the landlady. " You needn't be afraid to trust me with it. 
I've kept this house fifteen years, and my father before me. But 
how does a young woman like you come by a twenty-pound 
note, wandering about all alone at this time of night with that 
bundle?" 

" I am going to emigrate," answered Loo. " I've saved the 



Lost for Love. 195 

money to pay my passage. I'm going to Queensland to 
service." 

" Ah, and to get a husband, I suppose. That's what all the 
young women emigrants are after." 

" No," returned Loo, with a sigh. " There's no one in 
Queensland that would tempt me to marry." 

She entrusted the note to the woman, not without a fear that 
she might be made the victim of some London sharper. But 
the landlady's face was honest, and the place had a substantial 
air. A servant-maid brought her some supper — a slice of pale 
ham, a roll and pat of butter, and a large cup of steaming coffee. 
Rest and food were alike welcome. She had eaten nothing 
since one o'clock, and she had walked till she was dead-beaten. 
It was positive luxury to sit in the gas-lighted parlour, where 
the landlady's work-basket adorned the table, and the landlady's 
big tabby cat was purring its contentment on the hearthrug. 

Loo ate her supper with a thankful spirit, grateful to Provi- 
dence for this harbour of refuge in the big awful city, awful to 
her by reason of its strangeness and all the legends she had 
heard of its iniquity. She smiled at the thought of having 
escaped so easily from Miss Tompion. Perhaps they were 
driving about London in cabs, some of them, hunting for her. 
They would hardly find her in the New Kent-road, hardly 
follow all those doublings and windings by which she had found 
this humble shelter. 

The landlady returned in about twenty minutes, and laid 
nineteen sovereigns and a pound's worth of silver before Miss 
Gurner. 

" There," she exclaimed, " I've got it for you, but it wasn't 
very easy at this time of night, I can tell you." 

Loo was duly grateful, and a quarter of an hour later was 
slumbering placidly in Mrs. Hampton's two pair back, wrapped 
in happier slumber than she had ever known amidst the frigid 
proprieties of Thurlow House. 

She had begged to be called early, and rose at six, awakened 
by the first stir of life in the house. She had breakfasted and 
paid her small account by seven, when she took a friendly 
leave of the landlady, who told her the nearest way to Thames- 
street, where she was to find the office of Mr. Maravilla, the 
shipbroker, whose vessels sailed between London and Brisbane, 
with their mighty cargoes of poor humanity. 

She walked to the busy street by the great river, still carry- 
ing her bundle, found the office, and had to wait nearly an hour 
for its opening. Here she paid half her passage money — eight 
pounds out of sixteen — and received a ticket entitling her to 
all those various and numerous articles of outfit which are 



196 Lost for Love. 

provided by a paternal care for the childlike and confiding 
emigrant. 

She saw John Maravilla himself, opening letters and tele- 
grams with the rapidity of a steam engine, and giving orders 
to three or fonr clerks at their different desks, while busy un- 
derlings pushed to and fro in and out. A smart and orderly 
office; desks of shining mahogany; smaller and more sacred 
offices opening out of the main building, like the chapels of a 
continental cathedral; plate-glass resplendent on every side; 
plenty of light, plenty of space, or the most made of all avail- 
able space, and a superabundance of energy — an all-pervading 
briskness and vitality that was like quicksilver. 

Mr. Maravilla himself condescended to address the lonely 
applicant, struck by an appearance which had little in common 
with the mass of emigrants. 

" Going out alone ? Well, you can't do better. Domestic 
service ? That's the thing out there ; wages three times what 
you can get in England, mutton threepence a pound, climate 
splendid, husbands abundant. Assisted passage, eh? No, 
going to pay yourself. Foolish girl ! Never mind. Do well 
in Queensland. Never want to come back, nobody ever does. 
Jones, make out this young lady's ticket. You're just in time 
for the Promised Land. Blackwall Railway'll take you down 
to the West India Docks. Ask for the Promised Land; no 
time to lose. She'll be towed down to Gravesend this after- 
noon. Show that paper, get your outfit. Good morning." 

Loo had hardly time to breathe before she found herself out 
in the streets again with that mysterious ticket, her passport 
to the Antipodes, in her hand, fairly launched for Queensland. 
Though she stood in the London street, she felt that she no 
more belonged to it, had no more part in its busy life, that she 
was already an exile. Eager as she had been to emigrate, the 
thought sent a sudden pain to her heart. What is that mystic 
tie which binds man to his native soil ? so that, be he never so 
careless, to leave it is to feel a human sorrow, as when we say 
farewell to a human friend. 

There had been rain all through the night and early morning, 
and Thames-street was at its dirtiest ; but the mud and slush 
of Thames-street were as nothing compared with the quagmires 
of the West India Docks, which Loo approached by-and-by 
from the station. Here was mud indeed, and a new world, the 
mighty world of ships; tall slim spars piercing the summer 
sky ; colours flying gaily from the foremasts of gigantic vessels ; 
drawbridges to cross; merchandise being carried to and fro; 
casks without number; forests of logwood; wildernesses of 
wool sacks. 



Itost for Jjove. 197 

Loo had to ask her way a good many times, showing her 
ticket by way of warrant for her presence in that unknown 
world, before she arrived at a long low shed, where the super- 
intendent was giving out stores to the emigrants; beds, tin 
pannikins, cutlery, forks and spoons of brilliant Britannia metal, 
which would not have disgraced a middle-class dining-table, 
hardware, marine soap, clothing even to some favoured wan- 
derers, who mortgaged future labour to obtain supplies in the 
present — blue-worsted jerseys and moleskin trousers for the 
men ; substantial brown and gray stuffs for the women to 
fashion into gowns and petticoats. 

In this repository the bustle of departure was at its height. 
A clerk was sitting at his desk, entering the names of emigrants, 
the numbers of berths ; here in family groups of two, two and 
a half, three, three and a half, four, four and a half, five ; the 
halves representing juvenile members of the tribe; there, in 
solitary singleness, the youthful agricultural labourer, the pale 
mechanic, the young woman going across the world to better 
herself. 

The emigrants passed along a kind of gangway, like the rail 
which guards the queue at the door of a Parisian theatre, and 
after receiving the number of their berths went on to the 
counter, across which Mr. Swan, the outfitter, was distributing 
his stores — first a narrow straw mattress, in new ticking, clean 
and fresh from the manufacturer; next, an assortment of tin 
vessels, mug, plate, basin ; then cutlery ; and finally three or 
four pale bars of marine soap ; to some, moleskins and jerseys ; 
to others, none. 

He was a bright, pleasant-looking gentleman, this Mr. Swan, 
with a frank, good-humoured face, which was more youthful 
than his years. He spent his life in dealing out stores to emi- 
grants, or contracting for tin pannikins and mattresses, and 
without having ever emigrated himself, looked upon emigration 
as the most agreeable thing in the world ; a destiny for which 
all were born, those who remained behind having merely cheated 
fate, and deprived Queensland of her citizens. Mr. Swan 
would have depopulated the British Isles, and sent their in- 
habitants southward in quest of fortune, duly provided with 
tin pannikins. He was an enthusiastic Shakespearian student, 
and had the verses of the master bard ever on his lips — could 
hardly distribute his tins without a happy quotation, in fact. 
This morning's work would go on for some hours as fast as ever 
work was done, the tin pannikins jingling and clattering, the 
straw mattresses rustling, the shed crowded with human life, 
emigrants struggling up to the counter, emigrants staggering 
away under the burden of mattresses for a family, and Mr. 



198 Lost for Love. 

Swan's Shakespearian quotations rising cheerily above all the 
clatter; and in the afternoon Mr. Swan would go down to 
Gravesend on board the Promised Land, and would be seen in 
every part of the ship, distributing pannikins up to the last 
moment. 

" ' Why, so : now have I done a good day's work,' " said Mr. 
Swan, as he checked off a number of vouchers, receipts for the 
goods he had distributed, which represented his claims for re- 
imbursement by the Queensland Government. " ' Here comes a 
man, let's stay till he be past.' Now, young man, clear out 
with those mattresses. ' Now, fair one, does your business 
follow us ? ' " to Louisa, who had by this time approached the 
counter. " Going out alone ? Ah, tired of this used-up old 
country, I suppose. ' and thou art flying to a fresher clime.' 
Quite right. Queensland is the sphere for you. ' There's place 
and means for every man alive.' There you are, my dear — one 
plate, one mug, two spoons. Plenty more on board among the 
single men for'ard. The young women are aft, but I have seen 
some of 'em forward. 

' But, for their virtue only is their show ; 
They live unwoo'd, and unrespeeted fade.' 

There's your mattress, my dear; clumsy load for a delicate 
young woman like you. 

' Methinks I could deal kingdoms to my friends, 
And ne'er be weary ;' " 

pushing across the straw mattress. Loo grasped the slippery 
tick as best she might, still clutching her bundle, and struggled 
away from the counter. A young emigrant, Irish and good- 
natured, relieved her of her heaviest burden, and offered to 
carry it to the ship for her. 

There lay the Promised Land — a giant vessel, black, with a 
gold moulding round her, and her name in golden letters on 
her bows. All was life and motion on board her : passengers 
struggling up the accommodation-ladder laden with their belong- 
ings, ship's officers hurrying to and fro, sailors bawling to each 
other, stores being shipped, government inspectors taking stock, 
— all the business of emigration in full swing, and the emigrants 
themselves looking in nowise miserable. Whatever pangs they 
might feel hereafter, when the last faint outline of their island 
home faded from their gaze, and the sense of exile came upon 
them, they seemed too busy just now for regrets or lamenta- 
tions. The young children sent up their feeble wailings, be- 
wildered by the strange and bustling scene ; but fathers and 
mothers, lads and lasses, looked happy enough; indeed the 
novelty of the scene seemed to have put every one in good spirits, 



Lost for Love. 199 

and cheerful voices and mirthful laughter rang clear above the 
various sounds of preparation. 

At one o'clock there was a strong muster round the galley or 
cook-house, and brawny labour-hardened hands held out the tin 
dishes just received from Mr. Swan to an intelligent and shiny- 
looking coloured man, who filled the bright new platters with 
roast beef and steaming potatoes. For many weeks this good- 
tempered-looking darkey would minister to the living freight of 
the Promised Land, and the same eager cries would bo heard 
from the pushing crowd of " Now, then, doctor, my turn next." 
This distribution completed, family groups were soon seated at 
the clean deal tables, looking happy enough in their narrow 
quarters, and doing ample justice to their first meal on ship- 
board. Hats and bonneta were hung up on convenient pegs in 
the narrow berths, luggage for the voyage arranged, children 
began to trot to and fro in the dusky cabin with curious faces, 
wondering at this great strange floating home. 

Loo was taken down to the young women's quarters, and 
handed over to the matron ; a comfortable-looking person, who 
had spent ten years of her life in perambulating the ocean. 
She asked Miss Gurner a good many questions as to why she 
was leaving England, and so on, which the Thurlow House 
fugitive found it rather hard to answer. But she did contrive 
to answer them somehow; and the matron, who heard too 
many statements to pay minute attention to details, was satis- 
fied. Loo found her allotted portion of space, and laid down 
her mattress. It seemed a very narrow space after the ample 
dormitory at Thurlow House, but Loo did not regret that love- 
less mansion. The girls here were vastly below Miss Portslade 
and the aristocracy of Bath in the social scale, but they were 
cleanly and comfortably clad, honest and good-natured-looking, 
light-hearted and friendly. Some of these young exiles gathered 
round Loo, and would fain have taken her up on deck to watch 
the new comers, and enjoy the variety of the scene ; but this 
favour Miss Gurner declined. 

" I'm very tired, so I'll stay down here till the ship starts for 
Gravesend," she said; fearful lest some one from Thurlow 
House should have tracked her to the Docks, and come on 
board to claim her. 

" What ! haven't you any friends coming to bid you good- 
bye ? " asked one rosy-cheeked damsel pityingly. 

"No, my friends live too far away." 

" And so do mine," said an emigrant of eleven years old, who 
had travelled up from Newcastle alone, and was going out to 
Brisbane to join some prosperous relations. " Father and 
mother are poor people at Newcastle, and there's such a 



200 ljost for Love. 

many of us ; and uncle and aunt have got on so well in Bris- 
bane; so aunt's wrote to say if they could send me out to her, 
she'd keep me and bring me up. And I'm going out alone." 

While the little girl was telling her story, a jolly-looking man, 
with a round ruddy face, bright twinkling eyes, and somewhat 
Falstaffian figure, came pushing his way through the groups 
of girls, with the sailor's easy-rolling gait, to see that all things 
were going smoothly in this part of his ship. This was Captain 
Benbow, the master of the Promised Land, a man who looked 
the very personification of good health and good temper. He 
was round as a cask, and seemed brimming over with kindliness 
and jollity, like a hogshead with sound old October. This was 
his tenth voyage to Queensland, and his name was now almost 
a household word among the numerous homesteads of the new 
colony; and in many a letter home friends were urged to come 
out in the Promised Land. 

Captain Benbow heard the child's account of herself with a 
fatherly smile, patted the curly head, and bade the matron take 
good care of the youngster. " If she wants anything out of 
the ordinary way, let me know," said he, " and the little lass 
shall have it." 

Loo sat down in a corner, and made friends with this youngest 
emigrant, while the bustle and clamour and heavy tread of 
hastening feet went on over-head. She was glad to have some- 
thing weaker, more helpless than herself to cherish. This 
fresh, bright little North-country peasant-girl might be quite 
outside the pale of Thurlow House gentility, but Loo was not 
the less pleased with her. 

By-and-by, about four o'clock in the afternoon, came heavier 
trampings, louder noises, a grating of cables. The ship was 
leaving the Docks. 

" Do let's go on deck," cried the little girl ; and Loo yielded 
as much to her own unspoken wish as to the child's expressed 
desire, when she ran up the ladder to see the last of the great 
city which had been her eradle. 

The ship was just beginning to move, drawn by a little puffing 
tug, which looked a mere cockleshell beneath those giant bows. 
The side of the dock was crowded with spectators — men waving 
their hats, women waving their handkerchiefs — some weeping, 
more gazing upward to that peopled deck, with a friendly grin 
of encouragement. The mass seemed to surge to and fro as 
the ship glided away. A cheer rent the air, an answering cheer 
rang from the deck ; and lo, the Promised Land shot out of the 
Docks on to the broad breast of the strong river ; and Loo felt 
ehe was an exile. 

" Will he be sorry when he misses me ? " she asked herself. 



Lost for Love. 201 



CHAPTER XXII. 

" Ay, so delicious is the unsating food. 

That men who might have tower'd in the van 
Of all the congregated world, to fan 

And winnow from the coming step of Tima 
All chaff of custom, wipe away all slime 

Left by men-slugs and human serpentry, 
Have been content to let occasion die, 

Whilst they did sleep in love's Elysium." 

Flcka was established in a new home, the lodging which Mrs. 
Ollivant had chosen in obedience to her son's telegram. 

She had not made by any means a bad selection ; and even 
Flora, to whom all the outer world wore a mournful empty look, 
as if Nature had assumed one pervading tone of melancholy 
gray — even Flora confessed that these apartments in Kensing- 
ton Gore were very nice, and that the view of the Park from 
the drawing-room wirjdows was pretty. But in her heart of 
hearts Flora felt that she would have preferred Fitzroy-square. 
She would have found a mournful consolation in looking out of 
the window, and remembering how many times a day she had 
seen Walter pass — in conjuring his shadow out of empty air, 
and fancying she saw him go by. She liked to feed her grief; 
she petted it, and made much of it ; took the skeleton out of its 
hiding-place every night when she was alone, and fondled it ; 
and fell asleep tearful with the bony creature in her arms, and 
hugged it in her dreams. 

Before her father she affected serenity, or even cheerfulness. 
She ministered to him, she talked to him, walked in Kensington 
Gardens with him ; though the placid beauty of those groves 
and lawns and still smooth water was loathsome to her. She 
never forgot Dr. Ollivant's warning : if she wanted to preserve 
her father's life, to lengthen his days, she must not afflict him 
by the knowledge of her misery. She must lock the door of her 
heart's secret chamber, and pretend to forget. 

Mr. Chamney had been to Fitzroy-square, and had made all 

Eossible inquiries about the missing painter. Walter's landlady 
ad received no tidings of him. There were his goods and chat- 
tels, his easel, his unfinished pictures — pictures that were to 
have brought him fame — just as he had left them. His desk, 



202 Lusi jor l^ove. 

his books, his pipes, his foolish little extravagances — emblems 
of youth and folly— all undisturbed. Had he lived, he would 
surely have claimed these things, which seemed a part of him- 
self. 

Mr. Chamney went down to the City, and saw Mr. Maravilla. 
He too had received no tidings. 

"Haven't seen him for three months," said the shipbroker; 
" !ets his money accumulate. He's been getting ten per cent, 
out of the Sir Galahad — lucky fellow. Everything Ferguson 
touched always turned to gold, and I suppose it's the same with 
his nephew." 

" I wish I could find out what has become of him," sighed 
Mark ; and then told the story of Walter Leyburne's disappear- 
ance. 

" Odd," said Mr. Maravilla, " but perhaps not so bad as you 
think. A young man's escapade, very likely. He may have 
had his reasons for keeping out of the way." 

" I hope not," said Mark. " I'd rather think him dead than a 
deceiver and deserter. I believe he loved my little girl, and that 
nothing less than death could have parted them." 

Mr. Maravilla shrugged his shoulders doubtfully. 

" Young men do such queer things nowadays," he remarked. 
" I always thought young Leyburne was rather wild." 

Mark Chamney went home sorrowful. There was no comfort 
here for him to take to his darling. Happily, she seemed to be 
overcoming her grief. She smiled at him with almost the old 
smile. She fed and cherished her birds. She sat with an open 
book before her sometimes, and appeared to read. It was only 
Dr. Ollivant's watchful eye which noted how rarely she turned 
the leaves, how vacant was the gaze she fixed upon the lines. 

Dr. Ollivant spent all his evenings at Kensington. He 
altered his dinner-hour from half-past seven to half-past six. 
He cheated himself of rest and study. He robbed his mother 
of the society she luved best in the world, for the privilege of 
sitting in the quiet little drawing-room in Kensington Gore, 
watchful, earnest, thoughtful, bent on one business, the cure of 
this wounded heart. He who knew so much of cardiac disease 
held to the belief that this disease was not organic, that the 
innocent heart might once again beat with tranquil pulsation, 
once again find joy in domestic affection and simple girlish 
pleasures. To console Flora was the task he had set himself, 
and while consoling to win her for his own. Love so real must 
conquer all things, he thought. There should be no foolish out- 
burst of passion, like that untimely avowal in the Devonian 
burial-ground. Calm as the motion of the starry spheres should 
be his progress. " Without haste, without rest." 



Lost for Love. 203 

His only hope of success was to interest the dormant mind, 
to teach the head to cure the wounds of the heart. He observed 
that Flora had fallen into habits of indolence, a pervading lassi- 
tude, an indifference to all things save her father's comfort and 
health — habits that were strange to that bright, active, young 
life. 

She had never touched pencils or colour-box since her lover's 
disappearance, and Cuthbert Ollivant was too wise to counsel a 
return to the old artistic efforts. Gulnare, with her scarlet fez 
and scarlet lips, blue-black hair and almond-shaped eyes, lay 
buried at the bottom of Flora's deepest trunk, and with Gulnare 
many a poor sketch whose every line recalled the guiding hand 
which had helped her ; the bright head, with its waving auburn 
hair, so often bent over her shoulder ; the friendly voice that 
had directed and praised. No, Flora would never paint again. 

There was a piano in the Kensington Gore drawing-room, a 
Broadwood sent in by the doctor. But that piano might as well 
have been a dumb waiter, or a stage piano, innocent of strings 
or hammers. Flora rarely touched the keys. How could she 
sing, when every song, every ballad would have recalled the old 
happy evenings, the life that was fled P Once in a way she 
would play some mournful melody, some tender pathetic air of 
Mozart's or Beethoven's. But the music affected her too deeply, 
moved her to tears. 

The doctor saw that she must have some kind of employ- 
ment, some occupation which would beguile her from this 
brooding sorrow. The only question was what form the distrac- 
tion should take. Music and painting were alike impossible. If 
Doctor Ollivant had been a religious man he would have per- 
suaded Flora to go to church twice a day, and spend her leisure 
in visiting the sick and poor. But religion did not form an 
important part in the doctor's life. He went to church once 
every Sunday, and thanked an overruling Providence in a 
general way for his success in life, and he had never gone deep 
enough into theological questions to become an infidel. He 
determined to develop this poor child's intellect, to teach her 
something. That literature which he knew best was for the 
most part classical. He tried to interest her in the Boman 
poets, to open the gates of a new world. He proposed to teach 
her Latin ; a dull dry business enough perhaps at first, but 
something for her to achieve, difficulties for her to grapple with, 
work to do. 

He brought a translation of Horace one evening, and read 
some of the Odes ; but before beginning he gave Flora a vivid 
sketch of the Horatian period, the world in which the poet lived 
and moved; described those wondrous cities, villas, gardens, 



204i Lost for Love. 

fountains, chariot races, gladiatorial combats ; brought before 
her all the glory and brightness of old Eome, and then read the 
purest and best of the Odes. 

" He does not seem to have been happy," said Flora, noting 
the minor strain in the music. 

" Perhaps not, according to a young person's notion of hap- 
piness. He knows the world too well not to know that kind of 
happiness to be purely mythical, fabulous as that picture of life 
before Pandora opened her casket. But if not happy, he was 
wise. He knew the limits of man's capacity for joy, and made 
the most of life." 

" I like his poetry, but I don't like liim very much. Was he 
young and handsome ? " inquired Flora with languid curiosity. 

" Not always," answered the doctor discreetly. He was too 
wise to inform her just yet that the bard was somewhat ill- 
favoured and of a stumpy figure. 

" Shouldn't you like to read Horace in Latin ? You can have 
no idea of his power until you know the language he wrote in. 
The best of translations is mere jingle compared with the music 
of the original." 

" It doesn't look very interesting," said Flora, glancing at the 
doctor's Latin copy. There seemed to be a good many long 
words ending in ibus and que. " But I'll try to learn Latin if 
you like. It might please papa to see me going on with my 
education." 

" It would indeed, darling," cried Mark, who understood his 
friend's motive. 

"Then I'll bring a Latin grammar to-morrow evening, and 
we'll make a beginning." 

The beginning was made, and with the doctor's help was a 
very good beginning. His logical brain simplified all details. 
Flora found that there was some interest even in Latin gram- 
mar. Strange as it may seem, she derived more comfort from 
the four conjugations than from all the hackneyed consolations 
that friends could have offered. The doctor did his utmost to 
make the road easy — did not bind her down to the dry details 
of grammar, or nauseate her appetite for knowledge by keeping 
her too long to the slave who shuts the gate, and the citizen 
who cultivates the garden. He gave her a Horatian ode almost 
at the beginning, and by that one lyric showed her the genius 
of the language, and awakened her interest in the study. 

Even though 'he saw her pleased and interested, willing to 
labour at verbs and exercises in the day, and eager for her 
evening lesson on Horace, he took care not to fatigue her or 
exhaust her interest. 

" We will only give Horace two evenings a week," he said. 



Lost for Love. 205 

" I must find some fresh means of amusing you on the other 
evenings." 

He brought his books, and taught her a little astronomy; 
awakened the organ of wonder by exhibiting to her that wide 
unknown world of the spheres. Here again her interest was 
quickly aroused, for the doctor was no dryasdust teacher. He 
contrived to enlist her sympathies for the mighty host of dis- 
coverers, from Ptolemy downwards. He told her the history of 
those darker arts, which mystics and false prophets of old time 
had associated with the starry heavens. Knowledge so new 
beguiled her into temporary forgetfulness of that one absorbing 
sorrow. Mark wondered to see her eyes sparkle and her cheeks 
flush when the doctor expounded the strange and complex move- 
ments of those unknown worlds, and revealed to his wondering 
pupil the infinity of distance and time in that undiscovered 
sky. 

He was careful not to overtax the young student's brain, yet 
stretched the cord to its fullest tension, knowing that while the 
mind worked the heart must rest, even if that rest were but the 
dull leaden sleep of a heart empty of all joy. Not too often 
did he occupy her thoughts by that most awe-inspiring of all 
sciences, the study of the stars. On some evenings he brought 
her rare flowers, and showed her the mysteries of floral anatomy. 
Once when he had brought her an orchid of peculiar loveliness, 
a pinkish waxen-petalled blossom, like a floral butterfly, she 
clasped her hands with something of the old childlike joyfui- 
ness, and exclaimed, — 

" 0, that is too lovely to die unremembered. I must paint 
it." 

" Do," said the doctor, pleased ; " you cannot imagine how I 
should value such a sketch." 

Only for a moment had she forgotten. 

" No. I shall never paint again," she said, with that quiet 
sadness which springs from deepest feeling. 



206 Lost for Love. 



CHAPTER XXIII. 

" No tear relieved the burden of her heart ; 

Stunn'd with the heavy woe, she felt like one 
Half-waken'd from a midnight dream of blood." 

Flora's acquaintance for the popular Latin poet had only just 
commenced, when she was surprised one morning by a visit 
from a person whom she had never seen before, and whose right 
to approach her was questionable. 

It was a fine warm August morning, and Mark Chamney had 
gone to the City on business, loth to leave his daughter indoors 
in such balmy weather. 

" You'll go for a walk in the Gardens, won't you, my pet, 
with Tiny ? Tiny wants a run." 

Tiny was a miniature terrier, whose feet and tail seemed to 
have been borrowed from his natural enemy the rat. A black - 
and-tan terrier, with a sleek loose skin, whereby he might be 
lifted off the ground without injury to his feelings ; a skin a 
size and a half too large for him, a misfit which was supposed 
to be a sign of his high breeding, as also his damp small nose, 
and the sparseness of hair on his small round head. This 
animal Mr. Chamney had presented to his daughter as a 
companion and consoler ; and — youth is frivolous — there were 
moments when Flora derived comfort from the blandishments 
of Tiny. 

" Yery well, papa darling ; I'll take a little run with Tiny. 
Good-bye, dear. You won't walk too fast, or overheat yourself, 
or sit in a four-wheeled cab with both windows open, or go too 
many hours without a biscuit and a glass of sherry ? " 

" No, Baby ; I'll be as careful as an old woman. And I hope 
to be home again between two and three." 

Flora accompanied her father to the hall-door, nay, to the 
gate of the little forecourt, and kissed him in the face of the 
Kensington-road, to the admiration of some young gentlemen 
on the knifeboard of a passing omnibus. And then she went 
back to the empty drawing-room, and walked up and down 
once or twice listlessly, and looked out of all the three windows 
one after another, without taking the slightest notice of Tiny, 
and felt that life was desolate 



Lost for Love. 207 

Happily she had promised to write a Latin exercise for the 
doctor; so, after a little despondent idleness she took our her 
books, pen and ink, and began about the hostages, and the slaves, 
and the messengers, and the ships, and boys and girls, and 
citizens and old men, and was soon absorbed in the difficulties 
of her task. 

She was still plodding patiently on with perpetual recourse 
to her vocabulary, when the house-maid brought her a card, a 
stiff little card of that small size which is generally masculine, 
but this card bore a feminine inscription : 

Mrs. GURNER, 

Ladies' Wardrobe, 

11 Voysey-street, Fitzroy-square. 

N.B. Liberal terms given for Ladies' cast-off wearing apparel. 
Ladies waited on at their own residences. 

" An elderly lady, miss, asked to see you.'' 

Flora stared at the card with a bewildered air. Two words 
in it awakened her interest— Fitzroy-square. Any one coming 
from Fitzroy-square had a claim upon her attention. They 
might tell her something about Walter. 

The faint, faint tinge of slowly-returning health left her 
cheeks at that agitating thought. 

" I don't know this person," she said, " but I'll see her. You 
can show her up." 

Mrs. Gurner appeared presently; not the every-day Mrs. 
Gurner of Voysey-street, but a revised and beautified edition 
of the same work, bound in plum-coloured satin. 

Mrs. Gurner had availed herself of her stock-in-trade to 
prepare for this visit. She wore the immemorial satin; the 
wine-stains on the front breadth cruelly visible in the garish 
light of an August noontide. Her stately shoulders were 
draped with a French cashmere, ancient but once splendid, the 
curiously blended hues of its pine border subdued by time. 
Her bonnet was purple velvet, with a yellow-tailed bird of 
paradise — gorgeous if unseasonable. Her gloves were black 
lace, revealing the lean claw-like hands they pretended to cover. 
She carried that relic of dark ages, a black-velvet reticule, and 
an antique green parasol. 

Thus attired, and feeling herself equal to the requirements 
of Kensington Gore, Mrs. Gurner saluted Flora with a stately 
bend and solemn dip, of the minuet de la cour period. 

" I have taken the liberty to call, Miss Ohamney," she began, 
" thinking that, to a young lady of your means and position, 
it might be a convenience to be able to dispose of your cast-off 



208 j^ost Jor LiOve. 

clothing, Articles which you might he tired of, and might even 
consider shabby, would be valuable in my business, and I am 
prepared to give you liberal terms for them." 

" You come from Fitzroy-square, I think," said Flora, looking 
at the card in her hand. 

"From the immediate neighbourhood of Fitzroy-square," 
replied Mrs. Gurner, with an air of scrupulous exactitude. 
" Voysey- street, a locality which, like myself and family, has 
seen better days." 

" Please sit down," said Flora kindly. " What made you call 
on me ? " 

Mrs. Gurner smoothed out the plum-coloured satin before 
seating herself, glancing complacently at its purple sheen, a 
dress which any one might feel proud of. 

" I had heard of your par's taking the house in Fitzroy- 
square, Miss Chamney, and of his being a wealthy gentleman 
from the colonies ; and it had occurred to me that it was only 
natural you and me should do a little business — advantageous 
to both — relieving you of superfluous articles in your wardrobe. 
Young ladies of your ample means take a pleasure in buying 
new dresses, and naturally get tired of them before they're 
worn out. But I put off calling week after week, on account 
of the pressure of business ; and when I did call a few days 
ago, I was informed by your housekeeper that you was at 
Kensington for change of air. ' Well,' says I, ' having set my 
mind on doing business with Miss Chamney, I won't be first- 
rated.' So I walk down to Piccadilly — a long walk on a warm 
morning — and step into the Kensington 'bus ; and I hope, miss, 
having come so far, you won't refuse to do business with me." 

" I am sorry," faltered Flora, " but I couldn't possibly sell my 
clothes. I should think it horrible. When I have done with 
my things I give them away." 

" To servants and people for whose station in life your clothes 
are not suitable. Have you ever reflected how many pretty 
little things — laces and ribbons and so on — you might buy with 
the money you could get for your cast-off dresses P " 

" No," answered Flora with a sigh, remembering what idle 
frippery ribbons and laces had seemed to her since she lost 
Walter; "no, I shouldn't care for anything I bought in that 
way. Besides, I have no occasion to make any such bargains. 
Papa is always ready to give me more money than I want." 

" Ah," said Mrs. Gurner with a dismal sigh, " that comes of 
being an only child, reared in the lap of luxury. It's very 
different for some of us." 

That profound sigh and Mrs. Gurner's doleful look awakened 
Flora's ready compassion. 



Lost for Love. 209 

" I'm sorry you should be disappointed." she faltered. " If 
half a sovereign would compensate you for your wasted trouble 
I shall be very happy " 

She opened her purse — a toy of ivory and gold — one of her 
father's many gifts. 

Mrs. Gurner shed tears. 

" Half-sovereigns are not plentiful where I come from," she 
said, "and I'll not allow my pride to reject your kindness. 
But I didn't come here wholly on business ; there was some- 
thing that lay nearer my heart. I've wished to see you this 
ever so long." 

" But why did you wish to see me ? " asked Flora, puzzled. 

Mrs. Gurner shook her head and sighed, transferred the half- 
sovereign to an old leather purse, sighed again, and shook her 
head again. 

" It's foolish, perhaps," she said, in a slow musing way, con- 
templating Flora's gentle face with a fixed and meditative gaze, 
" but I had a daughter — my only daughter, or at least the only 
girl I ever reared — and she went out to the colonies and died 
there — young. I've always felt an interest in any one connected 
with the colonies on that account, and hearing that your par 
had been in Australia — you were born in Australia, I sup- 
pose ? " 

" Yes, but I was sent home when I was very little. I can't 
remember anything before I came to England." 

" You can't remember your mar ? " 

" No,'' said Flora sadly. 

" You've got a picture of her, perhaps ? " 

" No, there is only one in the world, and papa wears that in 
a locket." 

Again Mrs. Gurner sighed, looked out of the window dreamily, 
as one who looks backward through the mist of years. 

"My girl was very pretty," she said; "a' girl who might 
have done well anywhere — steady and clever, and always the 
lady. She wasn't a Gurner. She was a little in your style ; 
same coloured hair and eyes, and such sweet ways, the best of 
daughters. But something happened that she took very much 
to heart — it wasn't anything that happened to her, poor child, 
or by any fault of hers ; and she said, ' Mother, I feel as if I 
couldn't breathe in England after that ; ' and she went out to 
Australia with a young female friend which was left an orphan, 
and had a brother settled out there in the building line. She 
begged and prayed of me to go ; but I said, " No, Mary, I've 
my feelings as a mother, but I've my son in England, and I 
can't cut myself in two ; besides which I haven't the constitu- 
tion for the sea voyage." She was a good girl to me, was our 



210 Lost for Love. 

Mary, and the first money she ever earned she sent me half of 
it, and sent me many a little help afterwards. But God took 
her away very soon. I never saw her pretty face again. For- 
give me troubling you, Miss Chamney, but it's a kind of con- 
solation to talk to any one connected with the colonies." 

Mrs. Gurner had wept at intervals throughout this speech; 
and Flora had been moved to pity for this ancient female, whose 
plum-coloured satin raiment and solicitations to barter had at 
first disgusted her. Those womanly tears won her compassion, 
and even respect. With quick tact she divined that it would 
comfort this desolate old woman to talk to her of her lost daugh- 
ter. She did not pause to consider that Mrs. Gurner was an 
intruder, that her presence in that drawing-room was a supreme 
impertinence. She saw an elderly woman before her, sorrowful 
and in tears, and her only instinct was to console. 

" Where did your daughter settle ? In what part of Aus- 
tralia?" 

" She was in Hobart Town mostly." 

" That was where my dear mother came from," said Flora. 

" But she went elsewhere before she died. I don't remember 
the name of the place ; my memory's very poor. She married, 
and had a daughter, that may have grown up into just such a 
young lady as you." 

" Don't you know her ? haven't you seen her ? your own 
granddaughter ! " 

" No, my dear young lady, there are circumstances — family 
circumstances — that have kept me and that granddaughter 
apart ; there's compilations which I can't explain to a young 
lady like you. But I should feel I was doing that dear grand- 
daughter an injury if I intruded myself upon her ; and there's 
very little good I could do her to compensate for that injury, so 
I've learnt to subsidise my own feelings, and keep aloof from her. 
But it struck me one day that it would be a comfort to me to 
see you, being almost similarly circumstanced ; so I made bold 
to join business and a grandmother's feelings, and came down 
here to call upon you; and I hope you'll forgive me, Miss 
Chamney." 

" I don't think there's anything for me to forgive," said Flora 
gently ; " I feel truly sorry for you, strangers as we are." 

" Strangers — yes, to be sure," murmured Mrs. Gurner, dabbing 
her tearful eyes with a ragged Yalenciennes-bordered handker- 
chief, whose corner exhibited a coronet. 

" I can feel for your regrets, for I have had a great sorrow 
myself lately," said Flora mournfully. 

"Ah, my sweet young lady, the world's full of sorrow; even 
the rich can't always escape it, though they come off light in 



Lout for Love. 211 

many things, and at your age the heart is acceptable of suffer- 
ing " (Mrs. Gurner meant " susceptible"). " Might it have been 
an unhappy attachment? " she inquired insinuatingly. 

" We have lost a dear friend, papa and I," faltered Flora. 

" Dear, dear ! Lately dead, perhaps." 

" We do not even know if he is dead. Sometimes I try to 
hope that he is still living, that he will come back to us some 
day. We only know that he is gone." 

" Yery sad," sighed Mrs. Gurner, contemplating Flora with an 
inquisitive eye. "But a young lady with your advantages, 
beauty, and wealth has no call to fret for the loss of one friend, 
or for the falsehood of one friend. The world is full of friends 
and lovers for such as you." 

Flora looked grave, and felt that she had allowed this plum- 
coloured person to go too far. She began to wonder how she 
was to get rid of Mrs. Gurner, who showed no signs of 
departure. 

" Lor, my dear young lady," that matron began, with a philo- 
sophical air, " if you only knew how little good there is in young 
men nowadays — how much badness and double-dealing, and 
selfishness and mercenariness — you'd never fret after one of 
them. A person in my station, a person that has been brought 
up as a lady and been drifted down in the world, sees behind 
the scenes of life. I'm sure there's a young gentleman I used to 
see a good deal of a month or so ago — quite the gentleman in 
most of his ways, though lowering himself to the level of a pack 
of artists about our neighbourhood — quite the gentleman, affable, 
free with his money, a young man one couldn't help liking, but 
hollow — nothing genuine in him — all ginger-pop." 

Flora looked pained, embarrassed, played with her exercise- 
book, and glanced beseechingly at Mrs. Gurner, as much as to 
say, " Please go." 

" Perhaps one didn't ought to expect stability of character 
from an artist," mused the intruder ; " a man whose mind was 
given up to the last picture he had in hand." 

Flora looked up, pale and startled, as if the world held only 
one painter. 

" But when a young man comes in and out of your place, and 
makes himself at home with you, and is friendly and pleasant, 
it's hard to shut your door upon him. This Mr. Leyburne em- 
ployed my son in doing up some old pictures for him, and paid 
liberally. It wasn't my place to object to his visits, even if I 
did see that his coming so often had a bad effect upon my grand- 
daughter — as handsome a girl as you'd meet at that end of town, 
and a prudent young woman into the bargain." 

Flora's white face stared at the speaker in dumb amazement ; 



212 Lost for Love. 

but Mrs. Gurner went on as if unconscious that her words had 
any unpleasant effect upon her hearer. 

" I warned our Loo against setting store by any of Mr. Ley- 
burne's wild speeches, his praises of her beauty, and suchlike. 
She was the model for his last picture ; and he came day after 
day to paint at our place, and he and she were as happy together, 
and I left 'em as free as if they'd been brother and sister. A 
prudent young woman, brought up by a careful grandmother, is 
above being watched and suspected. I didn't watch Louisa ; I 
didn't suspect her ; but I warned her against building upon any- 
thing Mr. Leyburne might say to her. And the upshot has 
proved the truth of my words. Six weeks ago Mr. Leyburne 
turned his back upon us, and has never crossed the threshold of 
our door since." 

There was a pause, a silence of a minute or so, before Flora 
was able to speak. 

"And you have heard nothing of him — do not even know 
what has become of him ? " she inquired at last. 

" No more than the unborn babe. I've gone so far as to 
inquire at his lodgings in Fitzroy-square, but he hasn't been 
heard of even there. Now, it strikes me that he felt he'd 
gone too far with our Loo. I know he was fond of her, and 
that, as he couldn't bring himself to marry a young woman 
in such reduced circumstances, he thought the wisest thing 
for her and for himself was to go clean away. There's countries 
enough in the world where a man can go and never be heard of 
in England again, and yet have all the enjoyments and agree- 
ments of life." 

" He is dead, perhaps," said Flora, in a half whisper. 

"Well, I've sometimes thought of that. I'd almost sooner 
believe him dead than think him that cold-blooded he could 
turn his back upon our Loo, and leave her to break her heart 
for him." 

" Is she very sorry ? " asked Flora, in the same unnatural 
whisper. 

" She's never been the same girl since we lost sight of him." 

" And you think he really loved her ? " 

" I don't think it," rephed Mrs. Gurner solemnly, " I know 
it." 

Another pause, during which Flora sat motionless, looking 
blindly at the opposite window, the blue summer sky, the ragged 
elm-branches tossing to and fro in the light west wind. 0, fond 
foolish dream of love and fidelity, gone for ever ! This bereave- 
ment was almost worse than the first loss. 

" I won't intrude upon you any longer, Miss Chamney," said 
Mrs. Gurner, rising with her stateliest air, and spreading her 



Lost for Love. 213 

purple robe around her. " I didn't ought to obtrude my family 
troubles upon you, but your kindness and sympathy opened tho 
floodgates of my sorrow. I 'umbly ask forgiveness, and wish 
you good morning." 

Flora tottered to the bell, rang it with uncertain hand, and 
then, as the door closed upon Mrs. Gurner, flung herself on the 
ground — not upon the couch or into Mark's capacious easy- 
chair, but on the ground itself, in deepest abasement. 

What was left her now? Not even memory — not the sad 
sweet belief that she had once been blest. 

" He never loved me," she told herself. " When he asked me 
to be his wife, he was sacrificing his own inclination to please 
papa. He loved that common girl — that dreadful woman's 
granddaughter, — loved her with a low common love for her 
handsome face. Why should I mourn his death ? Why should 
I feel that the world is empty because he is dead ? He ia lost 
to the world, but not to me. He was never mine." 



CHAPTER XXIV. 

" Non, si puissant qu'on soit, non, qu'on rie ou qu'on pleura, 
Nul ne te fait parler, mil ne peut avant l'heure 

Ouvrir ta froide main, 
O fantome muet, 6 notre ombre, 6 notre hfite, 
Spectre toujours masque 1 qui nous suis c6to a c6te, 

Et qu'on nomme demain ! " 

Ail through Loo's first day on board the good ship Promised 
Land the bustle of departure was at its height. The vessel 
anchored off Gravesend, midway upon the broad sweep of 
shining water, and exiles who had been determined to get the 
most out of their own country before departing to a new one 
joined the ship here. Passengers were continually arriving, and 
when arrived roamed like restless spirits, and went up and down 
ladders as if perpetual motion had been imposed upon them by 



21-t Lost for Love. 

the iron hand of the law. Emigrants struggling under the 
burden of straw mattresses, and emigrants jingling bunches of 
tin pannikins, pervaded the ship from stem to stern. First- 
class passengers, who had brought mountains of luggage, went 
distracted on discovering that a cabin would not hold more than 
its cubical contents. Most of the passengers wanted the chief 
part of their possessions on the voyage, and many passengers 
showed more affliction at being severed from the trunks and 
packing-cases that were shovelled into the hold than at parting 
from their friends on shore. Second-class passengers expressed 
their surprise at not being accommodated with bed-rooms and 
sitting-rooms of twenty feet by fifteen, and proceeded to wall 
themselves in with their belongings, as if they had been Egyp- 
tian mummies about to be withdrawn from the light of day for 
a few centuries. The young-men emigrants loafed at their end 
of the deck, smoking short pipes, and wishing themselves fairly 
under weigh. In the family cabin, midships, the emigrants 
were collected in little groups — father, mother, and baby, and 
three or four small children, seated at a narrow deal table, in 
the low between decks, looking comfortable enough, and the 
children seeming hardly to wonder at their strange sur- 
roundings. 

But however many were to be found in the cabins, the per- 
petual motion on deck, the continuous tramping up and down 
ladders, went on just the same. The young women were allowed 
to promenade the poop-deck, and from this elavated position 
Louisa Gurner surveyed the little world below her thoughtfully. 
The child-emigrant had found new friends — a family midships 
where there were children a little younger than herself. And 
Loo was quite alone — alone and strangely sad as the day wore 
on, and she thought of that waste of unknown sea that she was 
going to put between her and the man she loved. 

The desire to escape from the chilling atmosphere of Thurlow 
House had been strong enough to sustain the fugitive up to this 

Eoint. Emigration, considered as an escape from that dull life, 
ad seemed a grand thing. But now that she had taken the 
desperate step, enrolled herself in the band of voluntary exiles, 
emigration — the subject of many a girlish dream — seemed not a 
little dreary. 

It meant lifelong severance from "Walter Leyburne, nay, 
eternal parting. For if she did not remain dear to him on 
earth, would he seek her in Heaven ? And he had loved her ; 
the cup of bliss had been offered to her lips, and she had re- 
jected it. 

She remembered that night in the lonely moonlit road, when 
he had flung wisdom to the winds, and asked her — yes, entreated 



Lost for Love. 215 

her, Louisa Gurner — to be his wife. She had been heroic 
enough to answer ' No,' for she knew that passion prompted 
him, and she would not yield to a prayer which he might 
remember with remorse to-morrow. In that one hour Loo had 
been stronger than her lover. Sublimely unselfish in the exalta- 
tion of that hour, she had thought for him and not for herself. 
She had considered his interests, his future, and had refused 
him the love that might have been a burden and a hindrance in 
days to come. 

She was as weak as water to-day, as she looked across the 
bright broad river to the shore that she might never tread 
again. 

"He was so fond of me," she thought. "He did love me — 
better than he ever loved that perfect young lady in Eitzroy- 
square. But I couldn't bear that he should marry any one so 
common as I, and change his mind some day, and be sorry to 
think that he had been caught in a trap, perhaps, by an artful 
woman. No, I only did wha«t was right." 

And then came the thought that she would never see him 
again — that rash young dreamer — that ardent lover; never 
again live the life of that one summer's day ; never live at all 
any more ; for life was something less than life without Walter. 
She thought how years hence — twenty years, perhaps — she 
might come back to England, a decent middle-aged woman, 
who had succeeded pretty well in some humble fashion; and 
how she would find herself in an altered city, where the streets 
and public buildings had lost their old familiar aspect; and 
how she would wander about in search of Walter Leyburne, 
only to steal a look at his life from the outside — no more. She 
would see him famous, happy, a husband and father; look at 
him from among the crowd, herself unknown, unnoticed ; and 
then go back over the wide waters, content to have gone once 
round the world for the bitter-sweetness of that moment. 

Her father, too— the father who had treated her so hardly ! 
Even of him this foolish Loo could not think without sharpest 
pangs of regret. All the love of early years came back in this 
pain of parting. The days when the careless vagabond father 
had been all her narrow world ; when his presence had meant 
life and movement, his absence a dull blank ; when the sound 
of his full baritone voice singing snatches of Italian Opera as 
he worked made her glad ; when to watch him dabbing, spong- 
ing, and varnishing at a dirty deal table, littered with oily 
rags and dirty bottles, was the chief delight of her life. There 
had been no Walter then ; father had seemed just the cleverest, 
handsomest, most delightful man in the world. True that the 
atmosphere had become overcharged with 3lectricity now and 



216 Lost for Love. 

then, or that, in vulgar parlance, there had been rows — re- 
proaches, recriminations between mother and son — hard words, 
unsavoury epithets. Even these had not hardened Loo's heart 
against her father. She had flung herself into the breach many 
a time when her grandmother's reproaches were bitterest, and 
stood by her father, and denied the justice of Mrs. Gurner's 
accusations. 

But that was all over now. She would never see the vaga- 
bond father again; never sit like Cinderella among the ashes 
on a winter's night, darning Jarred's dilapidated socks, and 
listening to the words of wit or wisdom which dropped from his 
lips now and then between two puffs of tobacco. How often 
she had gone into the wet muddy street, in pouring rain, to 
fetch him beer or tobacco, and had not deemed the service 
ignoble ! What pleasure it had been when he was pleased with 
the cooking of his savoury supper, and gave her a careless word 
of praise ! 

AH over now. While she looked across the broad river 
towards Gravesend, with its background of green hills, her 
mind's eye beheld the back-parlour in Voysey-street ; and that 
picture of a home gone from her for ever, as she thought, took 
brightness from the sense of loss. She saw the scene not in its 
dull reality, but in the colours that it borrowed from her regret. 

She went down to the young women's cabin by-and-by, and 
sat at one of the narrow deal tables to write a letter on a sheet 
of paper begged from an obliging young emigrant. Loo's 
scanty outfit did not include writing materials. 

She wrote to her father briefly, but with affection, telling him 
how deep a wrong he had done her when he shut his door upon 
her, forgiving him that uudeserved cruelty, and telling him 
where she was going. 

" Mr. Leyburne has been all that is kind and generous," she 
wrote, " and has tried to make a lady of me by sending me to 
boarding-school. But our free-and-easy ways at home had 
spoiled me for such a life as that, and I thought it would be 
better for me to go out to Australia and get my own living, like 
my aunt Mary, whom you so seldom speak of, than to waste 
Mr. Leyburne's money by staying where I was miserable. 
Don't be angry with me, father, for taking my own way in life 
without asking advice from you and grandmother. When you 
shut your door upon me that night, I felt that I was alone in 
the world. 

" I shall always remember you with love, always regret this 
parting. Tell grandmother I forgive her for every bitter word 
she ever said to me. I shall think of her at her kindest. Good- 
bye, good-bye." 



Lost for Love. 217 

Tears made the end almost illegible. Loo held her head low 
down over the paper, ashamed that happier emigrants should 
see her weakness. She carried her letter up on deck, and where 
the confusion was wildest, at the yawning mouth of the hold, 
an abyss into which stores were being lowered, she found Mr. 
Swan, who good-naturedly promised to get her letter posted by 
the first emissary he sent on shore. 

This was in the afternoon. The Promised Land was still 
lying off Gravesend, to sail early next morning. 

The day wore on. Mr. Swan went on shore with Loo's letter. 
It might reach Voysey-street that night, but too late for Jarred 
to follow his runaway daughter, even if he were inclined. She 
had not told him the name of the ship that was to carry her 
away. 

" He wouldn't wish to fetch me back," she thought, somewhat 
sadly. " Even if he, hadn't turned me out of doors he would 
have been glad enough to get rid of me. What do poor people 
want with children ? A child means a mouth to be filled, feet 
to be shod, a body to be clothed somehow. Grandmother will 
miss me most, on account of the housework ; and it'll seem dull 
to her without any one to nag at. But she can get a girl to 
come in for an hour or so of a morning for eighteenpence a week. 
And she won't have the girl to feed always ; so there'll be some- 
thing saved anyhow." 

Easy to slip the cable of family ties and drift away into the new 
life, where the barque was so lightly anchored. Yet, wretched 
as the old life was, Loo regretted it more and more keenly as 
the day wore on. Again the sense of desolation which she had 
felt at Thurlow House came back to her. The people about 
her were not unfriendly. There was no scorn in the looks that 
met hers on board the Promised Land ; but they had all their 
own ties, their own hopes, their own troubles, their own joys. 
She belonged to no one ; and she was a plant of deeper root 
than the child emigrant; she could not be so easily transferred 
to a new soil. 

She stayed on deck till nightfall, gazing at those green hills, 
with the foreground of roofs and chimneys, many-coloured in 
the declining light — gazed as a fallen angel might gaze at the 
paradise from which she was banished. How lovely the English 
landscape seemed to the exile's eye ! She who had seen so little 
of her native land, whose knowledge of its beauties went no far- 
ther than Epping, Hampstead, and that never-to-be-forgotten 
glimpse of the fair villages beside the Thames, beheld this wide 
sweep of river, those verdant Kentish hills, with rapture. 

This was the land she was going to leave. Her heart yearned 
towards that English coast as if it had been a living thing. 



218 jbost for Love. 

Night closed in ; lights began to twinkle here and there in 
the shadowy town ; there a bright line that showed the lamplit 
street, there the ruddier gleam of household fires. The exile's 
heart sickened as she thought how long it would be ere she 
would again see lights as homelike and friendly ; how, for 
weeks and months to come, life would be illumined only by the 
regulation lamps of the Promised Land ; how her way would 
be over the barren waste of waters, journeying among strangers 
to a strange land. 

There had been a good many visitors to the ship in the course 
of the day, an army of explorers urged by an amiable curiosity 
about the ways and means of emigrants, combined with a 
natural desire for a day's outing and a good dinner. Ladies of 
a philanthropic turn had pried and peered and wondered and 
exclaimed, until some of the emigrants had gone so far as to 
say that sea-sickness would be a relief after this kind of thing. 
There had been feasting and high-jinks in the cuddy, healths 
drunk, speeches made, and an immense deal of conviviality 
among people who were not going to make the voyage, and who 
were somewhat inclined to regard the Promised Land as a 
floating tavern where there was no reckoning — a pays de cocagne 
upon the waters. 

The festivities were nearly over now. Darkness — only soft 
summer darkness — had descended on the deck. Lamps were 
lighted in the cuddy, where the visitors, determined to get all 
they could out of the vessel, were drinking tea, prior to depar- 
ture. The boats were waiting at the bottom of the accommoda- 
tion-ladder to convey these strangers back to Gravesend, bobbing 
gently up and down with the movement of the light waves. 
Loo, from her post on the poop, looked down at the boats, and 
heard the voices of the visitors through the open skylight of the 
cuddy. 

" They are not going to leave England," she thought sadly, 
as the sound of their laughter grew louder. 

Her heart was growing heavier as the hours wore on. She 
had never contemplated the possibility of drawing back, yet 
that pain at her heart grew sharper now that the step she had 
taken seemed irrevocable. An official was going his round 
among the emigrants to collect the second half of their passage- 
money. He would come to her presently, and then only four 
pounds would remain to her out of Walter's parting gift. 

Her eyes still fondly turned towards that mother country she 
was about to abandon. The shore grew darker, the hills almost 
melted into the soft gloom of night, the lights twinkled more 
gaily. 

" Dear old England! " said Loo; " to think that I should be 



Lost for Love. 219 

so fond of it — to think that I should care even for Voysey- street 
which I used to abuse so often while I lived there." 

The visitors emerged from the cabin hilarious, but somewhat 
fearful of the unknown without, the narrow ways midships, 
faintly lighted by a lantern here and there, the yawning abyss 
opening to realms below, the general insecurity of footing. 
Kindly officers helped the strangers up ladders. There was 
a great deal of confusion in getting the departing guests to- 
gether. Young ladies shriek their loudest, urged by playfulness 
or timidity; strong arms were in request. Mr. Swan quoted 
Shakespeare at a positively bewildering rate. 

In the crowd and bustle, and mingled alarm and hilarity, no 
one observed a slim dark figure which was alien to the visitors. 
The party was large, and everybody supposed that plainly- 
dressed young woman, with a veil drawn tightly across her 
face, belonged to somebody else. She was handed down the 
accommodation-ladder without a word of interrogation, took her 
place among other young women in the crowded boat, looked 
back at the ship towering high above her as the boat shot off, 
and a hearty cheer rose from the darkness of the deck, a friendly 
farewell to the departing guests. 

The gentlemen were talkative, and even noisy, during the 
brief transit. The ladies held their peace, and had faint sug- 
gestions of sea-sickness. No one observed the strange young 
woman, till they were all landing, when, as soon her foot touched 
the shore, the damsel stepped swiftly away, and vanished in the 
darkness of the night. 

" Who was that ?" asked one of the party, wondering at this 
abrupt departure. They were all bound for the railway station, 
and intended to keep together till they arrived there. 

" I don't know, I'm sure. I thought she was with you," an- 
swered another. 

" Some friend of one of the passengers, perhaps." 

"I suppose so." 

And no one thought any more about the strange young 
woman. 

The strange young woman was that child of impulse, Louisa 
Gurner. Just at the final moment, when the last of the 
visitors was being hustled down the ladder, a wild longing to 
return had seized her. She sprang lightly down the steps from 
the poop and ran to the gangway, was grasped by a strong- 
armed sailor and hoisted on to the ladder, and had taken her 
seat in the boat before any one had time to ask who she was. 
As she had fled from the advantages of humane letters, so she 
fled from the benefits of emigration, and leaving half her pas- 
sage-money, and all her little stock of clothing, behind her, 



220 jjost Jor J^ove. 

turned her back upon the good ship Promised Land, and all the 
chances of fortune that might have awaited her in England's 
youngest and sturdiest colony. 

She ran for some little way after leaving the landing-place, 
having some vague fear that she might be pursued, and taken 
back to the ship by force. That ticket which she had received 
in exchange for her eight sovereigns might in some manner 
bind her to the Queensland government ; to take the first step 
in emigration might be as fatal as to take the Queen's shilling. 

About half a mile from the water's edge she paused, breath- 
less, and looked about her. She was in a dark road just out- 
side Gravesend ; not a creature within sight, no sound of pur- 
suit, alone under the still dark night. She began to breathe 
more freely, felt that she was verily free — not bound apprentice 
either to education or emigration ; free to go whither she listed, 
free to go back to Voysey-street. 

Yes, it all came to that. It was the old shabby sordid home 
for which her soul languished, the old domestic affection, the 
home in which she had first seen Walter Leyburne. 

"I shall see him again," she said to herself: "no wide sea 
shall roll between us, no ship shall carry me away from him. 
I forgot how much I love him when I thought that I could 
bear my life beyond reach of him. I only want to see him now 
and then." 

She thought of the father who had turned her out of doors — 
not the most hopeful prospect in the world, perhaps, return to 
such a father. But Loo was not dispirited even by this thought. 
She remembered that Jarred Gurner's anger, though violent, 
had ever been brief. Doubtless he had many a time repented 
himself of his injustice since that memorable night. He would 
not shut his door upon her again. 

Or at the worst, if he did, she could find a lodging in Voysey- 
street ; she could learn dressmaking ; she could go out charing ; 
she could do something for a living. No labour would lack 
sweetness if she but stayed in the land that held her lover. 

It was late by this time ; she did not like to go to the rail- 
way station lest she should meet the people from the ship, and 
find herself delivered over to some emissary of the Queensland 
government, to be carried off, willy-nilly, like those victims who 
were kidnapped for the West Indian plantations, in the good 
old times. So she walked on, thinking of home and Walter, 
and happy, along the lonely high-road, till the late moon rose 
and beheld her on the top of Gad's-hill, whence she looked dowD 
wonderingly over the fair sweep of landscape, the broad winding 
river shining under that summer moon. 

She had walked a good many miles, but had hardly any sense 



Lost for Love. 221 

of fatigue, and pushed on bravely, seeing no house where she 
could seek a night's shelter till she came, very late, into Strood, 
so late that she was not a little fearful of having to wander 
about all night. The nights were short, happily, and she could 
go back to London next morning by the earliest train that left 
the station. 

Yes, it was too late to seek for shelter; it was morning already. 
The sonorous bell of Rochester Cathedral tolled one as Louisa 
entered the humble outskirts of Strood, too late for bed, for 
supper, or refreshment of any kind. Strood was silent as a 
street of tombs. Loo was tired, but made up her mind placidly 
enough to stroll about till the station was open, and she could 
find a friendly shelter in the waiting-room. 

She went upon the bridge, and stood looking at the river, the 
hills, the tall gloomy walls of Rochester Castle. How fair all 
appeared in the moonlight ! And this was the land she had 
been so eager to leave yesterday morning. 

" Thank God," she ejaculated, as she gazed with wide raptu- 
rous eyes at the varied prospect. " I would rather go about in 
a cart and sell brooms than leave England." 

She lingered on the bridge, and then walked slowly through 
the silent town, interested, pleased by the novel scene, and with 
no sense of desolation in that lonely walk in the middle watch 
of the night. Her vigorous mind was not dependent on com- 
monplace companionship for pleasure; the mere strangeness 
and quaint beauty of the old town were enough to satisfy her. 
Her soul was full of a placid joy. She was going back to 
Voysey-street, and she would see Walter again. That thought 
sustained her ; she felt neither the faintnesa of hunger nor the 
awful loneliness of the night. 

She went round the cathedral, looking up at its dark walla, 
and walked through narrow ways where there are grave sober- 
looking old houses of mediaeval type, to the Maidstone road, 
then in the cold gray morning made her way back to the town 
and to the station. 

There was an early train for London, a train that started a few 
minutes after five. Loo took a third-class ticket — she was chary 
of spending her money lest she should have to begin the world 
on that small fortune — and found herself among labouring men 
in smock frocks, and market-garden women who got in and out 
at every small station. 

The journey seemed long to Loo's impatience. There were 
so many stoppages, so much delay, and she yearned so for the 
end of her journey. How would they greet her, those two on 
whom alone she had the claim of kindred^ As the end came 
nearer, doubts she had not known before arose to torment her. 



222 Lost for Love. 

That bitter memory of Jarred's repudiation of her took a darter 
colour. What if there should be no welcome for her, — only- 
silence, stern averted looks, condemnation ? Her absence might 
give ground for the vilest suspicions. Her father might refuse 
to hear her explanation. 

At the worst there was Walter — he would not misjudge 
her. 

Yet even he would be angry at this foolish escapade. He 
had taken so much trouble to place her in the right path, and 
might hardly forgive her for deserting it. The future grew 
cloudy as the train drew nearer London, almost as if her 
thoughts took their colour from the smoke-tainted sky. 

It was early when she came out of the station into the street, 
where huge waggons were rumbling by, cabs shooting among 
them, and the noise of life already begun. Not too early for 
an omnibus, she found one to convey her as far as Tottenham- 
court-road, whence it was an easy walk to Voysey-street. 

Her spirits sank still lower during that slow progress through 
the town, with its everlasting stoppages, takings-up and set- 
tings-down. It was a relief to leave the omnibus, and pursue 
her journey on foot, tired as she was with last night's wander- 
ings, for now at least there was nothing but her own weakness 
to delay her progress. 

Even now the way seemed long, but at last, at last she 
entered the shabby old street, whose width of carriage way was 
usurped by disreputable-looking fowls — birds which, from the 
proud races of Spain and Dorking, had degenerated into London 
Arabs; ragged Cochin-Ohinas, too, which looked shabby and 
degraded, like over- worked dromedaries. How familiar the 
scene appeared, and yet how strange, after the month's absence, 
which seemed like an absence of years! If she had been 
returning from India after ten years' exile she could hardly 
have been more deeply moved at sight of her childhood's 
home. 

It was nine o'clock, breakfast-time for the more luxurious 
and Bohemian among the inhabitants — Jarred's breakfast- 
time in ordinary; after a late night he was wont to break- 
fast at noon, or perchance to dispense with that meal 
altogether. 

The well-known door — whose threshold she had hearthstoned 
so often — stood open to the summer air. There was a half-glass 
door inside, with a cracked alarm bell communicating with the 
shop. There hung the too-familiar stock-in-trade — the plum- 
coloured satin, the mangy sable tippet, the ragged Limerick 
lace shawl, the black-velvet mantle with shiny streaks here and 
there, like the track of an errant snail — mantle much begimped 



Lost for Love. 223 

and befringed. "The trimmings were worth all the money," 
Airs. G urner mihI. 

The passage smelt of bloaters — Jarred's customary relish at 
this time of year. That odour of bloaters and coffee and but- 
tered toast intensified Loo's hunger. She had eaten nothing 
since the afternoon meal on board the Promised Land, and had 
1 ieen in the open air for the last fifteen hours. She went along 
the little bit of dusky passage, and opened the back-parlour 
door. Not all at once did she venture to go in, but stood on 
the threshold contemplating the home-picture presented to 
her gaze. 

The press-bedstead had been turned up hastily, whereby a 
blanket of dubious colour oozed out of the ill-closed structure. 
A tall tin coffeft-pot simmered on a trivet in front of the small 
grate ; a bloater of aldermanic dimensions hissed and spluttered 
in the frying-pan : a plate of substantial buttered toast basked 
in the genial glow of the fire. Jarred, in shirt-sleeves, a pair of 
ancient morocco slippers, that had once been crimson, lolled 
in the big arm-chair, reading the Daily Telegraph, while 
the bloater fried, and the toast, in Mrs. Gurner's phrase, 
" mellowed." 

The lady herself was standing before a chest of drawers, en- 
gaged in the interesting occupation of curling her front hair, 
which, being of a convenient and adaptable form, was tied on 
to the handle of a drawer, to give purchase for the brush and 
comb. The place of this essential attribute of lovely woman 
■was supplied meanwhile by a frilled nightcap, with a red-and- 
yellow bandannah handkerchief tied across it, which Mrs. Gurner 
was wont to wear when in deshabille. 

" Father ! " said Loo appealingly, after a moment's pause. 

Jarred flung down his paper, sprang to his feet, crossed the 
room in two strides, and took his daughter in his arms. 

<; My girl, my poor lass ! " he cried. " Thank God, you've 
come back. I was a brute, Loo : but I meant it for your good. 
I thought I was making your fortune ; I thought it was the 
safest way to make him marry you straight off the reel." 

" You almost broke my heart, father." 

" Mine hasn't been uncommonly easy since that night, Loo. 
And when I got your letter by post this morning, to tell me 
you'd emigrated " 

"Following the example of your pore aunt Mary," sighed 
Mrs. Gurner, who had left the ringlets to hang unfinished from 
the knob to which she had attached them. 

" Well, I thought that was about the worst turn Fate had 
done me yet, Loo." 

"And are you really glad to have me back, father? And 



224 Lost for Love. 

may I stop with yon, and keep your place tidy, as I used 
to do?" 

" Of course, my girl ; sit down and eat your breakfast. — 
You'll poison the place, if you let that bloater burn any longer, 
mother," added Mr. Gurner, whose nostrils were offended by an 
unpleasant odour of frizzled fish. 

Loo sat down by her father, as she had been wont to do in 
the sunniest days of her past, when Fortune had favoured 
Jarred with a transient smile, and his temper was at its best. 
But before she could eat, she must ask one question. 

" Have you seen Mr. Leyburne lately, father P " 

"No, child. That's a long story, and a painful one. I'd 
rather tell it you by-and-by." 

The happy look faded out of Loo's face. 

" Is there anything wrong, father? " I thought it all seemed 
too happy, coming home like this and you so glad to see me ! 
Is there anything wrong — with him ? " 

" Something very much wrong, Loo." 

"Is he ill?" 

No answer. But looks interchanged between Jarred and his 
mother. 

" Is he— dead P" 

Still no answer. Jarred looked away from the questioner, 
and spoke not a word. Loo flung up her arms with a cry of 
agony, and turned her face to the wall. 



Lost for Love. 225 



CHAPTER XXV 

•'Le voyage qu'ils font n'a ni soleil, ni lune, 
Nul homme n'y peut rien porter de sa fortune, 

Tant le maltre est jaloux ! 
Le voyage qu'ils font est profond et sans bornes ; 
On le fait a pas lcnts parmi des faces mornes ; 

Et nous le ferons tous ! " 

•* Your fearful minds are thick and misty then ; 
For there sits Death — there sits imperious Death." 

A dull leaden sorrow weighed down Flora's heart after tn&i 
interview with Mrs. Gurner. There had been a sad sweetness 
in her grief for the lover she had believed true; a tender 
mournfulness m every tear ; for those tears had seemed tribute 
paid to the lost, and she had deemed her dead worthy of all 
tribute. But in the grief she felt for the man who had been 
false to her there was nothing but bitterness — the galling sense 
of self-scorn. Henceforward she was ashamed of her sorrow, 
and shed her tears in secret, and never more breathed her lover's 
name, save to God in passionate prayers for the healing balm of 
forgetfulness. A change came over her from this time ; but a 
change so subtle that no eye except Dr. Ollivant's noted the 
transformation. There was a growing womanliness in her 
manner. That chilklike sweetness which had first bewitched 
the strong man's senses, till, all unawares, his heart was won, 
seemed to have passed out of the girl's nature. She held her 
head higher, and there was a proud cold look in those eyes, 
whose expression had once been all softness and pleading. 
Flora had never been conscious of her pride till it had been 
outraged : but she wore her new sorrow like the proudest of 
women. 

Ignorant of the cause of this change, Dr. Ollivant lost him 
self in speculation about it. Had Flora discovered all at once 
that her lover had never been worthy of her, and resolved to 
put away her grief? Had she developed the truth out of her 
inner consciousness, after steadfastly refusing to be convinced 
by him, Cuthbert Ollivant ? He knew not what to think, and 
dared not question the subject of his doubts. Was it not 
sufficient bliss for him to be tolerated by her ? and so long as 



226 Lost for Love. 

she suffered him in her company had he not ample reason for 
content? Ohne hast, ohne rast! was his watch-cry. His singla 
hope lay in patience. 

Not by a word did Mora betray her lost lover's secret. Sha 
told her father nothing of Mrs. Gurner's visit. She gathered 
her shaken senses together an hour or two after that reduced 
gentlewoman's departure, and took Tiny for an airing in the 
Broad Walk, so as to come in with a breath of fresh air about 
her when her father returned from the City. Only her pallid 
cheeks betrayed the mental torture of those three hours. 

" Why, Baby, you are paler than ever to-day ! " said the fond 
father, as he kissed her; "I am afraid Kensington does not 
agree with you." 

" I don't think it does particularly well, papa." 

" Relaxing," said Mark gravely. " We'll go to Hampstead." 

" No, no, papa ; that would be too cold for you." 

" No, love, not on this side of November. Ollivant told me a 
few days ago that he thought a bracing air would suit me. 
We'll try Hampstead." 

Flora gave a little sigh of relief. It would be something to 
have done with that drawing-room, which had been in a manner 
poisoned by Mrs. Gurner's presence. That sofa yonder, on the 
edge whereof she had sat primly, evoked her image. Strange 
how grief infects chairs and tables ! 

The contemplated change of quarters was discussed with Dr. 
Ollivant that evening. 

"You are tired of Kensington, then ? " he said to Flora. 

" I don't care much for it," she answered listlessly. 

"Yet you could hardly have pleasanter rooms, or a gayer 
prospect." 

" Is it gay to see people one knows nothing about riding 
backwards and forwards? " she asked ; "cantering up and clown, 
up and down, as if there were no such thing as care in the 
world ? I think I would rather live in a forest, where there was 
nothing but tall black pine-trees under a winter sky." 

" I fancy you would soon be tired of the forest. However, let 
us try Hampstead. The bracing air may suit you and your 
papa both." 

He said not a word of the trouble to himself involved in this 
change — his longer journey to and fro. He was thankful that 
Flora did not ask to leave the neighbourhood of London alto- 
gether. A mile or two more or less would make little difference 
to him. 

She went on with her education bravely after that revelation 
of Walter Leyburne's falsehood ; pinned herself to her taskwork, 
attacked verbs and declensions, idioms and inversions, with a 



Lost for Love. 227 

will. She wished to thrust her lost lover's image out of her 
mind — to leave no room for fatal memories. Yet he was with 
her too often, despite her endeavours. His eidolon hovered over 
her as she sat tit her desk, just as he had stood beside her easel 
a few weeks ago. Sometimes she looked round, with a wild 
fancy that she would verily see him standing there in the flesh ; 
she had felt an overpowering sense of his presence, almost 
amounting to conviction, and listened, trembling, half expecting 
to hear his voice. Invisible, impalpable, he might yet speak 
to her. 

She had vague thoughts of spiritualism — commune with the 
dead. But these she laughed to scorn in her colder moments ; 
reminding herself that, since he had never really loved her, there 
could be no sympathy between them strong enough to draw the 
dead to the living, no link to bring him near to her. His wan- 
dering soul would flutter back to the girl he had really loved, 
and find its nest in that vulgar bosom. Not to her, not to her 
who had loved him so fondly, would his spirit return. 

No amateur preceptor could have desired a more industrious 
pupil. Indeed Dr. OUivant had to recommend less devotion to 
Horace and Linnaeus, the flowers and the stars. The girl's 
mind ripened rapidly in this intellectual forcing-house. She 
only read the books the doctor brought her, and those were all 
of the highest order of literature. The mighty world of natural 
science opened before her, and there were brief intervals of her 
life in which, lost in wonder at the marvels of the universe, she 
forgot how much she had lost in that particular unit whose 
disappearance had "made earth desolate. 

They explored Hampstead and its environs, and found an old- 
fashioned cottage at West-end, in a curious little rural nook, 
where there were a few pretty old houses, which seemed to have 
gone astray from somewhere else, and halted there in a fanciful 
purposeless way ; the spot being remote from church and post- 
office, and all the vulgar necessities of life in the way of but- 
cher's-meat and chandlery. 

The house Mr. Chamney hired was a low rambling place, witu. 
crinkled rough-cast walls, and a great many beams about it ; a 
cottage set in an odd triangular garden protected by a dense 
hedge of greenest holly ; a garden where the dahlias, which are 
the banners of autumn's advance-guard, were flaming gaily 
already. 

Flora was inclined to be charmed with the place for the first 
minute, and then averted hei weary eyes from its beauties with 
a stifled sigh. She thought how Walter would have admired 
the pretty rustic dwelling, how fair a background it would h.ive 
made for one of his favourite genre pictures. What was its 



228 Lost for Love. 

fairness worth to her without Walter — that "Walter who had 
never been hers P 

Mark was pleased with the rusticity of the spot. 

" I shall almost feel as if I was at our old station on the 
Darling Downs again," he said, " where we used to see a 
stranger once in three months or so. It'll seem quite nice 
to be ever so far away from the butcher, and to have to ride 
into Hampstead for stores." 

Flora brightened at her father's pleasure. After all, she had 
him ; he who had never ceased to love her ; whose thoughts, 
from the day of her birth, had been all love for her. Could she 
be so wicked as to repine, to think life empty, because of a loss 
that was no loss, only the end of a deception, only the awaken- 
ing from a fond and foolish dream ? 

She told herself that she would be happy henceforward, that 
she would make the most of life with her father. That happi- 
ness was left to her, and even that might be brief. She flung 
one wild despairing glance forward to days to come, when she 
might weep and lament amidst a deeper desolation than her 
mind could compass now — fatherless. 

Day by day she acquired stronger command over herself, and 
seemed to live only to please and pet her father. Never was a 
man so worshipped by an only daughter as Mark Chamney by 
this pale thoughtful girl, with the grave eyes and pensive mouth. 
To Outhbert her conduct was inexpressibly beautiful. He saw 
the girlish stoic doing silent battle with her grief, conquering 
her womanly heart by the force of filial love. 

" She is beyond all measure lovely ; she is a woman above all 
other women; and I am justified in giving her a measureless, 
love," thought the doctor as he rode back to Wimpole-street, 
after an evening at West- end. He spent all his evenings there, 
just as he had done at Kensington Gore, and he rode to and 
fro, as the quickest way of travelling — rode back to town late 
on dark starless nights, when the Finchley-road was silent as 
the wild sheep-walks of Queensland. 

One day Mr. Chamney proposed that Flora should take to 
riding. The pale wan look of her face alarmed him. She smiled 
at him, but her smiles were cheerless. It would be good for her 
to canter along those pretty rustic roads and lanes which lay 
between West-end and Edgeware. The doctor was on the alert 
at once, and volunteered to find her a clever hack, with a canter 
As easy as the slumberous swing of a rocking-horse, and none of 
those vicious proclivities which are wont to distinguish the equine 
race. Mark insisted upon having a hand in the selection; and 
the two men met in the City one morning, and had various animals 
paraded before them, till their choice fell upon a well-fed-looking 



Lost for Love. 229 

bay mare, with a mild and cow-like temperament; a lymphatic 
animal, tranquil-minded as a childless widow with money in the 
Funds, whose business in life was to look prosperous and pretty. 

Flora was grateful, and tried to seem glad. Perhaps this 
gift of the horse — a living, loving creature, whose dark full eyes 
looked at her gently, and whose velvet nostrils seemed to thrill 
under her caressing touch — was just the wisest otoring her 
father could have made her. Her step grew lighter as she ran 
backwards and forwards to Titania's stable — the cow-like bay 
had been named Titania; the wide landscape, the fresh clear 
air gave her new life, and brought a faint glow to the white 
cheeks, and some touch of the old rose tint to the pale lips. 
She had learned the polite art of horsemanship, with a select 
class of young ladies, at a Notting-hill riding-school during her 
tutelage at Miss Mayduke's ; learned to canter gracefully over 
the tan of a circular shed, and even to jump over a low bar. 
Under the doctor's tuition she acquired complete mastery over 
the mild Titania, and in due time ceased to be stricken with a 
kind of mental palsy at the sight of an omnibus or a waggon 
bearing down upon her. 

Kind as the doctor was, however, Flora carefully avoided 
riding alone with him. She had an ever-present dread of a 
repetition of the scene in Tadmor churchyard whenever they 
two were left alone together. So when the doctor spared an 
afternoon for a ride, she contrived that her father should be 
with them on an honest weight- carrying roadster he had bought 
for the groom, and at other times she rode in the early morning 
with the groom for her attendant and protector. Her health 
improved from this time forward; and what with long rustic 
rides, study, reading aloud to her father, devoted attention to 
his simple wants, and housekeeping, the mysteries whereof she 
was gradually acquiring, Flora had little time for nursing her 
secret life. God's healing balm of oblivion had been given to 
her in some small measure. Her sorrow awoke at times, and 
stung the toft heart where it nestled, bat it was an endurable 
sorrow. 

" I have my father," she said to herself; " I ought to be 
happy." And hand in hand with this thought went the hope 
that her father would be spared to her for years to come. She 
Had lost so much, Heaven would surely leave her the remnant 
of her happiness. 

The first chill winds of October were the signal for a new 
change of abode. Sweet as West-end Cottage was, Dr. Ollivant 
suggested its abandonment. Mr. Chamney must winter in a 
milder climate. Pinemouth, in Hampshire, would suit him 
admirably. The doctor was careful not to hint at a Devonian 



230 Lost for Love. 

watering-place. So it was settled that they should start for 
Pinemouth on the twentieth, the doctor promising to secure 
rooms for them, and to make all things smooth. 

" I shall miss my evenings sadly," he said, " and my pupil." 

" You can run down to us sometimes, perhaps," suggested 
Mark. 

" Perhaps now and then for a few hours on a Sunday.* 

" That would hardly be w^orth your while," said Mark. 

" 0, yes, it would," replied the doctor with his quiet smile : 
" I should not think the journey wasted trouble, believe me, 
But I must not give myself as much latitude as I did in the 
summer. My absences were too long, and I had to endure some 
very severe reproaches when I came home ; especially from the 
patients who have nothing particular the matter with them." 

Flora had taken her last long ride through the lovely lanes, 
her last quiet walk with her father on the Heath at sunset, and 
all was ready for their journey to Pinemouth, when something 
happened which made the journey impossible, and rooted them 
to West-end Cottage. 

Mark Ohamney's chronic cough, which the doctor had watched 
with some uneasiness — not a particularly bad cough in itself, 
but alarming in such a patient — suddenly developed into a 
sharp attack of bronchitis. Mark had caught cold, somehow, 
in spite of his daugher's unvarying care ; some wandering blast 
among the winds that blow had pierced him, as with the shaft 
of death. He took to his bed in the old-fashioned lattice- 
windowed chamber, looking towards the green pastures of 
Pinchley and Harrow's wooded hill. From the first, Outhbert 
Ollivant knew pretty well what the end must be. But how was 
he to tell Flora, whose pleading eyes piteously supplicated words 
of hope and comfort? Should he tell her the truth at all? 
Bather let her feel the last ray of life's sunset, beguiled to the 
very end by hope; better for the patient's feeble chance of 
lengthened days — better, perhaps, for herself. When the blow 
came, strength to suffer would come to her somehow from that 
presiding Power whereof the doctor thought but vaguely. He 
told her none of his fears therefore, but gave her as much com- 
fort as he dared, without actual falsehood. He would not give 
her power to turn upon him by-aind-by and say, " You deceived 
me." He would not give her reason to despise him. 

Mrs. Ollivant came down to West-end to help in the task of 
nursing — or perhaps rather to take care of Flora, who needed 
all the care affection could give her, as the days went by with- 
out bringing signs of recovery, and the awful possibility hang- 
ing over her began to shape itself in the girl's mind. 

Day after day, as Mark grew weaker, less able to speak to her, 



Lost for Love. 231 

more prone to intervals of wandering speech and brief and 
broken slumbers, Flora asked Dr. Ollivant the same agonizing 
question, " Is there danger?" For a week he fenced with the 
difficulty, replied in language for the most part technical, which 
left doubt and even hope in the questioner's mind. But at last 
there came one fateful morning when he must either lie to her 
utterly, or tell her the dismal truth. Yes, there was peril ; it 
was doubtful if she would have her father with her many more 
days. 

She shed no tear. Her heart seemed to stand still, all her 
senses to be benumbed for the moment, at the leaden touch of 
that unspeakable grief. Lip and cheek whitened, and she stood 
looking at the doctor dumbly, while he yearned to take her 
to his breast and comfort her, with tears and kisses and tender 
pitying words, as such a child should be comforted. 

"Why does not God take me too?" she said at last ; "He 
would if He were merciful." 

" My love, we must not question his mercy," exclaimed Mrs. 
Ollivant, with a shocked look, putting her arms round the girl. 
" All his acts are good and wise, even when He robs us of our 
dearest." 

Flora pushed her away. 

" How dare you preach that to me ? " she cried passionately. 
" Is it good to part us two, who are all the world to each other ? 
Why may not I die too ? What use am I in the world ? When 
he is gone, there will be no one left who cares for me." 

" Flora, you know that is not true," said the doctor with 
grave reproach. It was the first time he had ever hinted at his 
secret since that day in Tadmor churchyard. 

" No one whom I care for, at any rate," said Flora cruelly. 
She had no mercy upon any one in her great agony — hated 
every one who seemed, even by way of consolation, to come 
between her and her dying father. How dared they seek to 
lessen her grief? How could she ever grieve enough for 
him? 

She broke from Mrs. Ollivant's restraining arms, and flew up 
stairs to her father's room, and crouched down by his bed, deter- 
mined never more to leave his side. The last hours of tha - , 
ebbing life should be hers, and hers only. The doctor had 
brought in a trained nurse, mild and skilful; but Flora was 
jealous of the hireling's ministrations, and would hardly suffer 
her help. 

One evening, after a day of weakness and fitful slumber, 
Mark seemed better than he had been from the beginning of his 
illness — his brain clearer, his voice stronger. It was but one of 
those latest flashes of the vital spark which illuminate the dusk 



232 Lost for Love. 

of life's close; but to Flora it seemed a promise of recovery. 
Her eyes shone with newly-kindled hope; she trembled with 
the wild joy that thrilled through every vein. He was better — 
he would live. The awful doom would be averted. 

Mark stretched out his wasted hand uncertainly, seeking hers. 
She clasped and kissed it. 

" My love, I am glaxl you are so near me." 

" I am never away from you, dear father. I will never leavu 
you till you are well and strong again." 

" my poor child, that will never be." 

" Yes, yes, papa ; you are better to-night." 

" My mind is clearer, my darling. God has given me an 
interval of reason after all those troublesome dreams — strange 
meaningless dreams — that bewilder and oppress me. I can 
think clearly to-night. I want to talk about your future, 
Flora." 

" Our future, papa," she said piteously ; " I have no future 
without you." 

" My dearest love, you will live and try to be a bright happy 
woman — useful to others, as a woman should be — for my sake. 
Perhaps in that dim world where death is leading me, I may 
have some knowledge of your life. If that be so, how sweet it 
will be to me to know that my darling is fulfilling a woman's 
fairest destiny — loving and beloved — happy wife, happy 
mother!" 

" Papa, papa, you are torturing me ! I live only for you — I 
have no earthly hope but in you ! " 

"Where is Ollivant?" 

Was his mind beginning to wander again ? she thoaght, the 
question seemed so wide of their previous talk. 

" Down-stairs, papa. He is here every evening, you know." 

" Bing the bell, Baby. I want to talk to him." 

She obeyed, and Cuthbert came swiftly in answer to her sum- 
mons. He sat down by the bed on the side opposite Flora, 
and Mark extended the other feeble hand to his old school- 
fellow. 

"That's well, Cuthbert," be said; " I want you with me, as 
well as my darling — my cherished only child. It seems a hard 
thing to leave her quite alone in the world — friendless, unpro- 
tected." 

" She can never be that while I live," answered the doctor 
eagerly. " Have you not asked me to be her guardian, and 
am I not pledged to guard and cherish her so long as I 
live P " 

" I know, I know," said Mark dreamily ; " but there's some- 
thing else." 



Lost for Love. 233 

He lapsed into silence, his hands still lying wide apart, one 
in Flora's clasp, the other grasped tight in Cuthbert's sinewy 
lingers. Neither of them spoke to him : his words, his breath. 
were too precious. Flora sat watching his face in the dim light 
of the distant solitary candle. They had been careful to keep 
the light subdued. 

" If I hadn't trusted you, do you think I should ever have 
given you such a charge, CuthbertP " Mark asked at length. 

" I have been — I shall be — worthy of that trust," answered 
Dr. Ollivant; "wherever else I may fail, I shall not fail in 
that. - ' 

" I believe it. What if I were to make it a greater trust, 
a more sacred charge ? What if I have read your secret, 
CuthbertP" 

" Papa ! " cried Flora pleadingly. 

" My love, I must speak freely. There is a time in every 
man's life when conventional restraint must end. Yes, Ollivant, 
I know your secret. Such devotion as you have shown has a 
deeper root than friendship. I have read the truth in that grave 
face of yours, honestly as you have tried to hide it. You are 
more than my little girl's guardian. You are her lover." 

" Papa, how can you be so cruel, when you know " 

" Yes, a girl's fleeting fancy. Why should it be the blight of 
a woman's life P My pet, you were created to bless an honest 
man's home ; and my old friend loves you — loves you as your 
first lover never had the power to love." 

" God knows it is true ! " said Cuthbert, and no word beyond. 
The dying father was pleading his cause better than he could 
have pleaded it. There is no earthly wisdom higher than that 
clear light which comes when death waits at the door. 

" Take her for your wife, Ollivant; there is no other kind of 
guardianship that can fitly shield her from the storms of fate. 
You have won her fairly. The husband I chose for her is dead 
and gone, and has been mourned sincerely. My child will not 
gainsay her father's last wish, her father's last prayer. Let me 
put these two hands together as the closing act of my life." 

He drew those opposite hands feebly towards his breast, 
across the narrow bed. Easy enough to resist that feeble 
movement, yet which of those two could have the heart to 
oppose him P The hands met — one with a thrill that was 
sharp as pain ; the other dull, inert, uncomplying, although 
unresisting. 

" There, children," said Mar 1 . , " that is a kind of sacrament 
Let neither of you forget this i oment. If there \z any thought 
or knowledge in the grave, I shall think of you united and 
happy." 



234t Jjost for liove. 

Flora drew her hand gently from Dr. Ollivant's, and knelt 
down by the bed, sobbing. 

" Papa," she cried, when the words could come, " live for 
my sake. Life and the world would be hateful to me without 
you. I cannot care for any one else — I cannot think of any 
one else. I have but one buried love — and yours. If I lose 
you, I lose all." 

" Hush ! " said her father gently ; " at your age life is but 
beginning. Perhaps while they are lying warm and dark in 
their cocoons the butterflies think that life would be bleak 
without that shelter ; yet see how happily they flutter in the 
sunshine when the poor old husk is decayed and forgotten." 

And with this simile Mark Chamney sank into a gentle 
slumber, from which he woke no more in this lower world — a 
sleep so tranquil that only Mora, against whose breast his head 
reposed, heard the last long-drawn sigh. 

In the bleak autumnal dawn Cuthbert Ollivant found her 
sitting on the bed with her dead father in her arms, tearless, 
and with a blank white face whose aspect filled him with 
terror. It was like the face of one whose reason trembled in 
the balance. 



Lost for Love. 235 



CHAPTEE XXVI. 

*« *Tis time that I should loose from life at last 
This heart's unworthy longing for the past. 

Ere life be turn'd to loathing ; 
For love— at least, this love of one for one — 
Is, at the best, not all beneath the sun ; 

And, at the worst, 'tis nothing." 

Mks. Olltvant took Flora to Wimpole-street, and for many 
weeks the girl lay in an upper chamber of that quiet old houtee, 
carefully tended and watched and ministered to, and in sore 
need of such care. Heart and brain were too nearly allied for 
one to go unscathed when the other was desolated. The blow 
that fell so heavily on the loving heart struck the mind as well, 
and for a time all seemed ruin. Nothing less than Dr. Olli- 
vant's skill and Dr. Ollivant's care would perhaps have saved 
mind or life; but his patience and his skill were victorious. 
The girl awoke from the long night of brain fever one bleak 
snowy day in midwinter, and looked curiously round at the 
unfamiliar room, wondering where she was. 

It was a neatly-furnished chamber, square and formal, every- 
thing in its place, not a line of the fair dimity drapery awry. 
The furniture had an old-fashioned look — a tall mahogany 
bureau, a mahogany chest of drawers, both with bright brass 
handles which reflected the glow of a cheerful fire. Old- 
fashioned coloured engravings of the four seasons, in oval gilt 
frames, adorned the neatly-papered wall. A sofa covered with 
dimity, an easy-chair with the same spotless covering, a small 
spindle-legged table, on which there was an old dragon-china 
plate with a cut orange, a shining brass fender — the snow- 
flakes drifting against the square window-panes, the blind 
half-drawn down, the sober sombre comfort of the room — Flora 
noted all these details; but not with eager curiosity; rather 
with a listless half-awakened interest. 

Where was she ? Was this Miss Mayduke's own sacred bed- 
chamber, that awful temple, whose closed portal she had passed, 
reverential almost to trembling ? A girl must be seriously ill 
to be removed to that sacred sanctuary. Flora began to think 
that she must have had scarlet fever, or some dangerous 
disease, and that she had been brought here in her extremity, 



236 .Lost for Love. 

as to a refuge where Death would hardly dare to pursue her. 
Surely the King of Terrors himself must have some awe of 
Miss Mayduke. 

It happened strangely that throughout this illness of Flora's 
all her thoughts and fancies had gone backward to her girlish, 
nay even childish, days at the Notting-hill academy. Lessons, 
breaking-up dances, juvenile friendships, holiday amusements 
occupied her wandering thoughts. She mistook her nurses for 
the teachers at Miss Mayduke's — she worried her distracted 
brain with anxieties about lessons unlearned, music that she 
had not practised. That year of womanhood, which held all 
the events of her life, seemed to have slipped from her memory 
altogether. The people she talked of were people she had 
known years ago, when she was quite a little girl; and in- 
significant circumstances that had been forgotten hitherto 
were remembered now minutely, as if they had been things of 
yesterday. 

To-day, for the first time, a fold of the dark curtain that had 
hung over her brain was lifted — for the first time since she had 
been lying there she thought of her father. 

" Why does not papa come to see me ? " she wondered. " Miss 
Mayduke ought to have sent for him." 

She turned wearily in her bed, disturbed by the thought. A 
woman in a gray gown and a muslin cap came out of an adjoin- 
ing room, the door of which had been left open; for not for 
a moment had the patient been left unguarded. Dr. Ollivant 
had told the sick-nurse to sit in the little dressing-room, where 
she could hear and even see her charge, without being seen by 
her; so that Flora might not be worried by the sight of a 
strange woman sitting watching her by day and night. 

" Where is papa ? ' asked Flora. 

" I don't know, miss." 

" Send for him, please. Ask Miss Mayduke to send for him 
directly. Are you the English teacher P Why do you wear a 
cap? Miss Bonford didn't. I don't like teachers in caps, 
looking just like servants." 

The nurse rang the bell, but did not leave the room. 

" Why don't you go and fetch him ? Why don't you fetch 
my papa ? It's very unkind of Miss Mayduke to let me be so 
ill and not send for him. I'm sure he'll be angry." 

The door opened and Dr. Ollivant came in. Flora looked at 
him and did not know him. 

" I think her mind is coming quite clear, sir," whispered the 
nurse ; " she's been asking me about her papa." 

" She does not know me," said the doctor, with a sigh. He 
had so longed for one glance of recognition from those sad eyes. 



Lost for Love. 237 

She stared at him blankly, as if he had been a stranger, just as 
she had looked at him the morning her father died. 

He seated himself by the bedside, and took her unresisting 
hand. 

'' If you are the doctor, please send for papa,'' she said. 

" 1 am your doctor," he answered gently, with his fingers on 
her pulse, noting its slackened and more regular beat. " Don't 
you think you could remember my name if you tried? " 

" Xo," she said listlessly; "you are not Mr. Judson." 

Mr. Judson was the bland apothecary who had attended 
ZMiss Mayduke's young ladies. 

" No. Try again." 

" I don't remember. Please send for papa. If I am ill he 
ought to come and see me. The other girls' fathers always come 
when they are ill." 

" But your father was in Queensland, wasn't he, on the other 
side of the world ? " 

'' Yes. I used to find the place on the terrestrial globe. It 
wasn't even marked there, it was such a new place. But the 
mistress showed me where to find it. It seemed so hard to 
think that we should be on opposite sides of this big world, 
papa and I." 

" Farther asunder, now," thought the doctor, with a sigh. 

"But papa came home, didn't he?" asked Flora with a 
puzzled air. " I remember getting his letter to say that he was 
coming. 0, how happy I was that day ! I could hardly con- 
tain myself for joy. Miss Mayduke gave us a half-holiday 
because I was so wild. I made all the other girls as wild as 
myself," she said. "Papa did come home; yes, I remember. 
Where is he ? Why doesn't he come to me ? " with a sudden 
dawning of recollection, an agony of nameless fear. " Why does 
he keep away from me ? " 

" Where he is there is no going to and fro," answered the 
doctor gravely. 

" I remember you now," cried Flora. "You are Dr. Ollivant. 
1 1 was you who told me papa would die. I hate you ! " 

This was Cnthbert Ollivant's reward for seven weeks' exem- 
plary care and patience; for anxiety that had gnawed him to 
the core; for the sinking sickness of despair, the feverish alter- 
nations of doubt and hope. 

" I hate you ! " exclaimed Flora, and turned her face to 
the wall. 

He stayed in the room a little longer, gave some fresh direc- 
tions to the nurse, and then left without another word to the 
patient. 

He had done what seemed to him best and wisest. He had 



238 Lost for Love. 

tried to bring the truth home to her ; had practised no soothing 
deception. He left the reawakened mind to battle with its 
grief. Sense and reason were returning, and he would not 
darken the light of consciousness by any comforting delusion. 
Better for her to awaken to sense and sorrow together, than to 
enjoy a dim interlude of false hope, and to have all the pain to 
come. 

Convalescence was slow and tedious. It was late in January 
wheii the clouds began to be lifted from the obscured brain. It 
was late in February before the patient was well enough to 
totter feebly down to the prim old-fashioned drawing-room, and 
sit, muffled in shawls, in the high-backed arm-chair drawn close 
to the fireplace. The weather outside those three tall windows 
was dark and bleak and stormy ; and it seemed to Flora as if 
the outlook of her life was of the same dull cheerless gray. The 
monotonous moaning of the east wind at night sounded like 
the chorus of her life's tragedy — a wail for days and friends 
departed, 

" Days that are over, dreams that are done." 

She was too weak to think much or deeply yet. Thus Pro- 
vidence tempered the wind for her. Her grief would hardly 
have been endurable had her mind been strong enough to 
grasp it. There was a vagueness about her sorrow still. It 
seemed a strange thing to begin life afresh in that unfamiliar 
house, where the business of existence went on as if mechanic- 
ally — no bustle, no excitement, no confusion, no variety, every 
day so like the days that had gone before, that there were times 
when she hardly knew whether it was the beginning or end 
of a week. Strange to feel that she belonged somehow to 
Dr. Ollivant and his mother ; that outside this house she had 
no part in life, no friends, no refuge; that but for them she 
would be as solitary in this busy crowded world as Selkirk on 
his barren isle in mid ocean. 

She thought continually of the old house in Fitzroy- square ; 
the dear old gloomy, cheerful, bright, dingy house — a house 
ivhich in itself enclosed all the opposites of nature — a dwelling- 
place made up of incongruities. How gruesome the wide old 
staircase and hall had looked sometimes in the dusk of 'a winter 
afternoon when her father was out, Mrs. Gage and her subor- 
dinate buried somewhere in subterranean regions, and Flora 
seemed alone in the house ! How gay and bright and homelike 
the drawing-rooms had looked later in the evening, when there 
were big fires roaring in both grates; candles burning on 
chimney-pieces, tables, and piano — candles in heterogeneous 
candlesticks ; the piano open ; her father smiling at her as he 



Laet for Love. 239 

reclined in his easy-chair; Walter joining his voice with hers 
in the joyous strains of " La ci darem la mano." 

Sometimes she had a passionate longing to see those rooms 
again ; a yearning so intense that only utter weakness restrained 
her from attempting to gratify it. Yet how vain, how foolish, 
how 1 atter it would have been ! What would she find there but 
an empty house P They were gone; they who had given life, 
and warmth, and love to the dull old rooms; they who had 
made her world. She would find the dear old house cold and 
blank, dusty, dilapidated, with the dreary words "To Let" 
staring from the cobweb- wreathed windows ; or worse, perhaps, 
find it occupied by strangers, brightened, garnished, made gay 
by happy people who had never known her dead father. 

The thought of that house, and her perplexities as to its fate, 
haunted her sometimes in the dead of the night. Was there 
music in those rooms now, she wondered, and youth and happy 
laughter, as there had been last winter, only a year ago, when 
she and Walter had spent the cheerful December evenings to- 
gether? She fancied she could hear a sound, as of distant 
music, distant laughter, sounding in that forsaken dwelling. 

" Should I see papa's ghost, if I went there in the dusk P " 
she wondered; "if I thought that, I would go there. That 
shadow would have no terrors for me. Dear father, if I could 
see your blessed spirit, and know that you are happy, yet pity 
me, and look forward for the day of our reunion." 

Here happily faith sustained her. She had no doubt of that 
blessed day when she and her father would meet, verily in the 
flesh, as the Apostles' Creed taught her, clasp hands once more, 
and live together in a holier, brighter world than this. She had 
no doubt, but she bemoamed her youth, and the long blank 
future, the weary earthly pilgrimage to be trodden before the 
golden gates of that unknown heaven would open to admit 
her. 

At last she ventured to question Dr. Ollivant about the 
subject of so many thoughts. 

" The house in Pitzroy- square is let to some one else, I 
suppose," she faltered, " and the old furniture that papa chose 
has been sold ? " 

" No, Flora, nothing has been touched. I would do nothing 
without your permission. All has been leftijust as it was when 
you lived there. When you are well enough to think about such 
things, it will be for you to decide what shall be done." 

This touched her more than all his kindness hitherto. 

" 0, that was so good of you. I thank you for that -irith all 
my heart," she exclaimed. " I shall see the rooms just as they 
were when papa and I lived there. I think I should like to go 



240 Lost for Love. 

back to Fitzroy- square to live as soon as I am quite well," sh« 
added, after a thoughtful pause. 

"What, Flora! live alone in that big house, which seemed 
like a barrack even in your dear father's time P " 

"I should never feel quite alone there," she answered, 
dreamily; " I should fancy papa was with me." 

" My dear love, that way madness lies," said the doctor 
earnestly. " We cannot live with the spirits of our dead. Life 
was meant for the living, the busy, the hopeful." 

" I shall never hope again." 

" Flora, have you any idea what pain you give me when you 
say these things ? I think I have deserved something better 
from you." 

" You mean that I ought to be grateful to you ? " she said, 
looking at him thoughtfully with her great hollow eyes ; 
" grateful to you for taking so much care of me when I was ill ; 
for bringing me back to life — life which has not one joy or one 
hope for me. I suppose I might have died but for your care? " 

" I doubt if less care would have saved you." 

" And I am to be grateful to you for that ? God meant me 
to die, perhaps — meant to take me to my dear father, and you 
thrust yourself between Him and his compassion." 

" No, Flora ; if God meant you to die, He would not have 
raised up so strong a love in my heart — love strong enough 
to save you when science might have failed." 

She only answered with a sigh. She heard him speak of his 
love to-day with an almost stupid indifference. What did it 
matter who loved or hated her ? The only love she had ever 
cared to win was lost to her. 

Nothing could be better for a convalescent than the placid, 
orderly course of life in Wimpole- street. As Flora grew 
stronger the doctor did his utmost to amuse her : brought her 
books and magazines ; told her of the busy outer world — that 
public life in which even a mourner may be interested — the life 
of the multitude; that march of civilization which seems so 
grand and swift a progress, but which, after all, may be only 
a noisy demonstrative manner of standing still — progress as 
deceptive as Penelope's needlework, perpetually doing and un- 
doing. He taught her to take some small interest in politics ; 
and when any subject of wide importance was discussed in 
the newspapers, he would explain it to her, and read her two 
or three leaders in journals of varying opinion. In a word, 
although he was too careful of her to resume his lessons in 
the classics and natural science yet awhile, he was continually 
educating her nevertheless, and she grew more and more womanly 
in his society, without altogether losing the old childish grace. 



Lost for Love. 211 

She must have been something leas than a woman if she 
had not been grateful tor so much love, as time slipped by and 
the keen edge of her anguish wore off a little. Mrs. Ollivant 
treated her with a gentle motherly tenderness, somewhat pre- 
cise and measured, perhaps, but undeviating in its indulgent 
kindness. The very rooms — immutable hitherto from the days 
when the furniture was brought up from Long Sutton — were 
now brightened and garnished, and made more youthful of 
aspect, for Flora's sake. 

The doctor sent home a pair of well-filled jardinieres one 
day ; on another a noble stereoscope, whose numerous slides 
afforded a miniature panorama of Europe. He chose a new 
grand piano in place ot the antique cottage, with its high rose- 
coloured silk back and brazen ornamentation. He substituted a 
large sheepskin mat of purest white for the somewhat dingy 
hearthrug. He bought a couple of low easy-chairs from a 
Wigmore-street upholsterer, and sent the straight-backed arm- 
chairs from Long Sutton to the limbo of superannuated fur- 
niture. He rarely went his day's round without finding a bit of 
Dresden, or Wedgewood, or Palissy ware to bring home to Flora 
in the evening. If he could win the faintest, most shadowy 
little smile, his trouble was more than recompensed. 

" I hardly know the room," Mrs. Ollivant said. " In my 
young days people usen't to turn their drawing-rooms into 
toyshops ; but it looks bright and pretty enough, my dear, and 
if it pleases you and Cuthbert, I'm sure I ought to be satisfied. 
It's more your house than mine." 

" 0, Mrs. Ollivant, I am only a visitor." 

" Nonsense, my love ; it will be your house by-and-by. I look 
forward to that day as hopefully as Cuthbert does, and I'm 
pleased to see him make the house bright and pretty for your 
sake ; though let him go where he will, he'll never get better 
cabinet-work than the furniture I brought from Long Sutton." 

Thus, little by little, as her mind slowly awakened from its 
all-absorbing grief, Flora came to understand that in that 
house she was regarded as Cuthbert Ollivant's promised wife. 
No direct words of his had ever urged this fact upon her, but 
there were tendernesses and familiarities in his tone which 
augured a sense of right and power over her. He spoke of her 
and to her as something that was all his own. He consulted 
her about the plan of his life, admitted her into the secret of his 
hopes, tried even to interest her in his professional career. 

Flora remembered her father's death-bed, that solemn joining 
of hands by the dying father, whose lightest wish should be 
sacred. And this had been no light wish, but a grave injunction. 
Could she wantonly disregard it P 



242 ±,ost jor M,ove. 

Love for this kind and faithful friend she had none. Had he 
not entered her life as a prophet of evil ? He had told her that 
her lover would be false, that her father would die in his prime, 
and both calamities had befallen her. Was it likely she could love 
him ? She had been sorry for him that midsummer afternoon 
in Tadmor churchyard, when he had shown her the passionate 
depth of his nature. She was sorry for him now. Such devotion 
deserved her pity ; but she deemed herself no nearer loving him 
than she had been then — when Walter was alive, and her life to 
come bloomed before her fairer than a rose-garden. 

She looked down at her black dress, with a sense of protection 
in that sombre garment. Her father had not been dead six 
months yet. There could be no talk of marriage for a long time 
to come. So she closed her eyes to the future, and let life slide 
on quietly, like a sunless river, not bright, yet not altogether 
gloomy ; a tranquil current drifting to an unknown sea. 

From the time that Dr. Ollivant told her the house in Fitzroy- 
square was undisturbed her longing to see it intensified. It 
would look just the same as in the old happy days, never to be 
lived again — days that had no more to do with her life now than 
the days of any dead woman who had ever lived and been happy 
thousands of years ago. It would be like going back to the old 
life just for a moment, to see the old rooms that had witnessed 
her joy. 

" How happy I was then ! " she said ; " there seemed nothing 
but delight in the world. I never thought of the miseries of 
others. My life ran on like a melody. Perhaps it is for my 
selfish heedlessness that I am being punished now." 

The first time that she went out for a drive in the doctor's 
comfortable brougham, one sunny March afternoon, she urged 
him to take her to Fitzroy-square. 

" My dear Flora, you are not strong enough for that visit 

yet." 

" Indeed I am, if I am strong enough to go anywhere. You 
don't know how I have longed to see the old house. And it is 
so near." 

" It is not the distance I am afraid of, but the painful emotions 
the place may occasion." 

" They will not do me so much harm as the disappointment. 
I made up my mind that you would take me there as soon as I 
was well enough to go out." 

"Be reasonable, my dear girl. Let me drive you round the 
Park." 

" I hate the Park." 

" Yery well, Flora, I rely on your fortitude," said the doctor, 
and gave the order to the coachman. 



Lost for Love. 243 

A brief drive along Wigmore-street, past the Middlesex 
Hospital, down Charlotte-street, and they were in the unfashion- 
able old square, with its spacious stone-fronted houses and 
deserted look. 

" There is our house ! " cried Flora eagerly, with almost a 
joyous tone. It was so hard, just at that moment, to remember 
that the fond father who had chosen and furnished that house 
would never cross its threshold again. 

The old housekeeper, now an idle care-taker, opened the door 
How the sight of her recalled to Flora the bright holiday life, 
the playing at housekeeping, and the girlish pleasure it had 
afforded her : ordering the dinners, with a charming assumption 
of wisdom, and no wider experience than Miss Mayduke's some- 
what limited bill of fare to fall back upon : paying the weekly 
bills with bright golden sovereigns brought home new from papa's 
bank, where they seemed to have a fresh baking every day, as 
careless of the amounts as if the sovereigns had been counters ! 

Mrs. Gage expressed herself struck all of a heap by the 
unlooked-for advent of her dear young lady, and protested that 
she had taken the utmost care of everything — which care, from 
the prevalence of dust and cobwebs, seemed to have been of a 
passive rather than an active order — and led the way up the 
wide forlorn old staircase, sighing plaintively. 

0, how sad the rooms looked ! how every object spoke of the 
dead ! Flora flung herself into Mark's favourite arm-chair, and 
kissed the cushion on which his head had rested, and wept as 
she had never wept since his death, — a rain of tears — tears 
which reHeved the dull pain at her heart. To touch those things 
he had touched seemed to bring her nearer to him. 

" Let me have this dear old chair in "Wimpole-street," she said 
to Dr. Ollivant, when her tears were dried, " and his desk and 
books, and a few things that he was fondest of — my own old 
piano which he bought. You can do what you like with the rest." 

" Ton have only to select the things you wish to have, Flora. 
Your wishes are my law." 

" You are too good," she said ; and then in a lower voice, " If 
I could only be more grateful ! " 

They went through the house, into every room — Flora's own 
bedchamber, with its girlish adornments — photographs, brackets, 
little_ bits of trumpery modern china, plaster copies of famous 
classic busts, hanging book-shelves bedecked with blue ribbons, 
— odds and ends which would not have realized a five-pound note 
at an auction, but which, for the doctor's eye, had a pathetic 
grace. He would not have parted with them for a year's 
income. 

" We will have all these things taken to Wimpole-street," he 



244 Lost for Love. 

said ; " and you shall furnish the little dressing-room with, them, 
in memory of your first home." 

He made a list of the things that were to be kept ; while Flora 
was looking about her, and sighing over the relics of happiest 
days. Once he saw her stand at a window, looking out for a 
few minutes, and then turn away with a troubled sigh. He was 
quick to understand that she had been thinking of her lost lover, 
and the days when she had watched for his passing by. He let 
her drink her full of this bitter-sweet cup of sorrowful memories. 
He attempted no vain consolation, spoke no word, but let her 
wander as she listed in and out of the once familiar rooms, 
which had so strange an aspect to-day, as if they had been shut 
up for a quarter of a century. 

" How old I feel ! " 

That was Flora's only remark as the carriage drove away 
towards a brighter end of the town. 

The furniture was brought from Fitzroy- square next day, and 
Flora was allowed to arrange it according to her own pleasure, 
assisted by the doctor and the doctor's factotum, but not advised 
or interfered with by any one. She made the dressing-room 
adjoining her own orderly bedchamber a kind of temple, in 
which she might worship her father's memory, and brood, upon 
sad thoughts of the past. Here she placed the sacred arm- 
chair, the desk at which Mark Chamney had written his brief 
business letters, the few books that he had collected in his active, 
unstudious life, old favourites all, read and re-read among the 
Australian sheep-walks : the Vicar of Wakefield, Pope's Essay 
on Man, Shakespeare, thumbed and dilapidated, Kenilworth, 
Ivanhoe, Bob Roy, Pelham, Pickwick. She hung up her book- 
shelves, but discarded the blue ribbons, and a good deal of the 
childish trumpery which had once delighted her, reserving only 
those things which were her father's gifts. Here, too, she 
placed her piano and well-filled music-stand ; and here, in the 
gray March twilight, faintly sang some of the old pathetic airs 
which her father had loved. It seemed to her that the arrange- 
ment of this room, in some manner, set a seal upon her life. 
The house in Wimpole-street was henceforward what it had 
never been before — her home. Whatever her future fate might 
be, she must needs submit to live here for years to come ; Mrs. 
Ollivant and her son had been so good to her, and she owed 
them a debt of gratitude which she must work out in years of 
bondage. She began to feel more like Mrs. Ollivant's adopted 
daughter, and grew daily more attached to the kind quiet lady. 
If she could have for ever avoided that awful question of 
marriage, thrust from her mind the memory of her father's 
dying request, she would have been tolerably content with her 



Lost for Love. 2 15 

new life. It was as good a life as she could lead without her 
father ur the lover of her girlish choice. 

As she grew stronger in mind and body she went back to her 
study of the classics, and became once more Dr. Ollivant'a 
attentive, intelligent pupil. Her old love of music reasserted 
itself, and she sang and played nightly to her two quiet com- 
panions; played dreamy waltzes and nocturnes, while the 
doctor read ; and amused herself for many an hour in the day 
with her piano in the little nest up-stairs, where there were 
always fresh flowers and new books supplied by the thoughtful 
doctor. 

" Flora," Dr. Ollivant said to her one evening, when they 
were sitting in the twilight after dinner — it was April now, and 
the lengthening evenings suggested thoughts of green lanes 
where primroses bloomed under the budding hedgerows — 
" Flora, do you know that you are a very rich woman ? I have 
never cared to talk to you about business matters, but it is only 
right you should know that you have a considerable fortune." 

" I knew papa was well off," she answered; " but I have never 
thought of money since his death. I used to be fond of spend- 
ing it when it was all his money ; I hate to think that death 
has made it mine." 

" Still you ought to know that your father left you sixty-four 
thousand pounds. He had increased his capital by the profits 
from his shares in three of Mr. Maravilla's ships. I have left 
fourteen thousand in the ships, and transferred the rest to Con- 
sols. There was some slight loss incurred in the transfer; but 
as your guardian I considered it best that the bulk of your 
money should be in the highest securities of the land. Your 
income from these two sources is upwards of two thousand a 
year ; so, you see, you are entitled to gratify any caprice or 
fancy that you may have. It is quite possible that your life in 
this house may be far different from the life you might choose 
for yourself. My mother and I lead rather a monotonous exist- 
ence, and it is hardly fair to tie you down to a life in which 
there is so iritle pleasure or variety. You might wish to travel, 
to see the world, to win new friends, to make a circle for your- 
self. You are entitled to any pleasure you may desire, and 
have ample means for the indulgence of every inclination, for 
I am sure your wishes would never be unreasonable." 

" Pray don't talk like that," said Flora; "how could I travel 
without papa ? What pleasure should I feel in anything now 
he is gone '( " 

She remembered how she and Walter had planned their 
honeymoon in the garden at Branscomb; the garden-like 
Grecian isles, the blue skies, the sunlit smiling sea which the 



246 Lost for Love. 

painter had talked about. And yet all that time he had been 
false to her, and was but yielding weakly to her father's wish, 
and at heart preferred another woman. 

" If I had married him and discovered that afterwards ! " she 
thought. And, compared with such depth of misery, Walter's 
untimely fate appeared a merciful dispensation. 

"My dear child," said the doctor in his tender protecting 
tone, " do you think that I wish you to lead any other life than 
this ? It is my happiness to see you here, my mother's too. 
Our house has seemed a different place since you came to us — 
so much more like a home. Has it not, mother ? " 

" Yes, indeed it has, Cuthbert ; though wherever you are is a 
home to me," answered Mrs. Ollivant fondly. " But dear as 
you are to me, I should hardly know how to get on without my 
adopted daughter," she added, caressing the soft brown hair 
which lay loose upon her knee as Flora sat on a stool at her 
feet, leaning lovingly against her. 

"I am not likely to leave you, mamma," said Flora; she had 
begun to call Mrs. Ollivant thus of late. " It is very good of 
Dr. Ollivant to take care of my money, but I don't suppose I 
shall ever spend much of it, unless he can teach me how to do 
good with it." 

The doctor felt easier after this brief explanation. That for- 
tune of Flora's had been and must still remain more or less of 
a stumbling-block in his way. There were doubtless people who 
would say he had set a trap for the young heiress, drawn her 
into an engagement while her mind, overpowered by grief, was 
incapable of resisting his influence. But for the world's opinion 
he cared very little, so long as he set himself right with Flora 
herself. 

" I will press no claim upon her," he thought, " I will take no 
base advantage of her father's dying words. Her own heart 
shall be the umpire. If, with so much in my favour, I cannot 
win her love, I will be content to lose her altogether." 

Before the primroses had done blooming, the doctor sent Mrs. 
Ollivant and Flora down to Hastings, promising to spend his 
Sundays, or what in the north of England people call " the 
week-end," with them. He despatched his man beforehand to 
find a suitable lodging, and all things were made smooth for the 
travellers. Flora felt a curious pang of regret as Cuthbert 
Ollivant bade her good-bye at the railway station. "I shall 
miss my Latin lessons," she said gently. 

" Does that mean you will miss me ? " he asked. 

*' Well, I suppose it must be one and the same thing," she 
answered with a faint blush. 

^us they parted, and aha felt sorry to part from him ; as 



Lost Jbr Love. 247 

if life lost some element of force and intellectuality, losing 
him. 

So the first year of her mourning passed away tranquilly ; 
not without some simple pleasures. And looting back upon that 
quiet interval, Mora was fain to confess that life had not been 
altogether unhappy. She had lived in an atmosphere of love ; 
affection which she had received passively, or even unwillingly 
at first, but which now made the faint sunshine of her days. 



CHAPTEE XXVII. 



" Lass mich schweigen ! lass mich dich halten. Lass mioh dir In die Augen 
when ; alles darin finden, Trost und Hoffnung, und Freude und Ktimmer." 

\ 

The year was gone, and the heavy crape dresses cast aside. 
Flora still wore mourning, but the mourning was of a less 
gloomy order. She wore silk instead of stuff, and white lace 
and muslin relieved the blackness of her raiment. She went 
with the doctor and Mrs. Ollivant to an occasional concert ; and 
that simple lady listened patiently to the masterpieces of classi- 
cal composers, without having the faintest appreciation of their 
merits. Dr. Ollivant took his ward to picture galleries, and 
developed her old love of art. The taste, so long subjugated by 
grief, was reawakened ; but there was always a lurking pain. It 
hurt her to see the successes of rising young artists, remembering 
him whose promise death had blighted. 

In all things that he did, Flora's well-being was the doctor's 
paramount consideration. He brought pleasant people to his 
house ; men of professional standing, and their wives. He sought 
to win friends for her, and the gentle charm of her manner en- 
deared her to the people he brought about her, almost in spite 
of herself. To know her was to love her. 

To Cuthbert Ollivant's small circle of intimates Flora was 
known only as his ward. Not a hint had he ever given to his 
closest friend — and his friendships were not many — of his own 
hopes or Mark Chamney's dying injunctions. The foreseeing 
remarked that Dr. Ollivant was too young a man to have such 



248 Lost for Love. 

a pretty ward with impunity, and that his guardianship must 
end in a marriage, or in trouble of mind for the guardian. He 
had been careful to hold himself in check before the world ; but 
a love which was the ruling idea of his life was not easy to , 
hide. Men were deceived by his calm and even manner, but the 
women found him out. 

" My dear, I tell you he loves her to distraction," said Mrs. 
Bayne to Dr. Bayne ; and as her own marriage had been a love 
match, with some touch of romance in its history, the lady may 
have been a fair judge of such matters. 

For Flora's sake Dr. Ollivant cultivated society more than he 
had ever done in his life ; sacrificed precious hours of study to 
evening parties, more or less inane ; gave frequent dinners, to 
the impoverishment of his income, the doctor's friends belonging 
to a class who must be fed sumptuously if fed at all. Poor Mrs. 
Ollivant sighed as she conned the confectioner's bill, and remem- 
bered the pastoral tea and supper parties at Long Sutton, when 
a pair of fowls at top, and a tongue at bottom, duly supported 
by a pigeon pie and a lobster salad, a dish or two of tartlets, a 
bowl of cream and a junket, had constituted the most elaborate 
supper to which Long Sutton epicureanism had ever aspired. 

Cnthbert Ollivant wished his ward to see the world, to be 
admired, to be sought even, before he put forward his claim. 
With a curious self-abnegation, he, who had been so jealous of 
Walter Leyburne, took her among younger and more agreeable 
men than himself, and let her see the contrast between the 
scholar and slave of science, and the gay young idlers of society ; 
men who seemed to have nothing to do but waltz perfectly and 
wear exotics in their button-holes. 

Flora waltzed with these foplings ; but finding not one among 
them to remind her of Walter Leyburne, suffered their fascina- 
tions scatheless, and thought all the better of Dr. Ollivant for 
the contrast between him and these butterflies. Hitherto she 
had compared him only with Walter; henceforward she com- 
pared him with the mass of mankind, and her estimate of him 
Tose wondrously. So far, therefore, a policy which at first sight 
might have seemed suicidal had proved the happiest stroke of art. 

The second winter after Mark Chamney's death was therefore 
varied by the pleasures of society. The light-hearted schoolgirl 
had developed into a thoughtful woman, self-contained, self- 
possessed, accomplished, well-informed. Flora's education had 
made rapid progress during that year of tranquil seclusion. 
There were few subjects of which she could not talk, and talk 
well, yet without a shade of pedantry. Enough of the old 
girlishness, the old spontaneity remained to make her charming 
«ven to the frivolous. 



Lost for Love. 249 

Spring came again, and this time awakening Nature found 
ail answering joyfulness in Flora's mind. Last year, the very 
sunshine had been painful to her, the scent of the flowers had 
sharpened her grief for the lost, by sad association. All that 
was brightest on earth had reminded her most keenly of the 
dead. This year she could think of the past with a gentle 
subdued sorrow; memory's pangs were still sharp, but much 
briefer than of old. 

Spring in Wimpole-street, where primroses only grew in 
balcony boxes, was not to be thought of; so Mrs. Ollivant and 
Flora went down into Berkshire for a fortnight, just to see the 
April flowers in their glory, and the first tender green of the 
horse-chestnuts' newly unfolded fans. They went to a quiet 
Little village called Farley Royal, a rural out-of-the-way nook 
between Windsor and Beaconsfield, and the doctor promised to 
run down occasionally, after his wont. 

Here they lived a simple rustic life. Mrs. Ollivant devoted 
her mind to the fabrication of a crochet antimacassar ; Flora 
wore a gray gingham gown and a straw hat, and rested from 
the pleasures of society. She read to her adopted mother, 
painted a good deal — she had taken lessons from an old French- 
man during the winter, and improved considerably — in the 
open air, wandering in the woods at her own will. There were 
days when Mrs. Ollivant did not feel herself quite strong 
enough for these rambles, but preferred to sit alone in the old- 
fashioned parlour, writing a long letter to her son, or working 
laboriously at the antimacassar. Flora would have stayed at 
home to keep her company, but this the elder lady declined. 

" You are so fond of sketching from Nature, my love. Why 
should you deprive yourself of the pleasure ? You did not come 
here to keep me company, but to get health and strength for 
yourself." 

Thus, after some affectionate remonstrances, it had been 
agreed that Flora should roam about as she listed, sketch-book 
in hand, during the bright spring mornings. In the afternoon 
she drove Mrs. Ollivant about the pretty neighbourhood in a 
comfortable basket carriage, drawn by the soberest-minded and 
most reliable of ponies. 

It was the first of May, a Saturday, and the finest morning 
they had had yet; a typical first of Mav, upon which one 
could easily fancy Scottish damsels tripping to St. Anthony's 
chapel at the foot of grassy Arthur's Seat, to gather May dew 
for their complexions. Flora set off for her favourite bit of 
woodland scenery directly after an eight o'clock breakfast. She 
wanted to paint a little bit of the greenwood, a rough rustic 
bridge over a brook which late rains had widened just at this 



250 Lost for Love. 

spot to a shallow pool of clearest water. All Nature's colours 
were at their brightest just now, with a soft freshness and clear- 
ness that would be burnt out of them by-and-by with the sultry 
heat of summer — bluest hyacinths, purplest violets yellowest 
primroses, silver-white anemones — all nature clad in fresh 
unfaded robes, as in life's morning. 

Flora spread her shawl at the foot of a pollarded beech, whose 
massive trunk the sunshine flecked with silver here and there, 
filtering downward through the over-arching chestnut boughs, 
for the wood here was thickest, and the young fan-shaped 
leaves made a green canopy. She settled her sketching-block 
on her knee, mixed her colours in the small tin box, and set to 
work with a keen delight in the labour, though Winsor and 
Newton's brightest tints seemed dull and muddy compared 
with that tender luminous colour of lavish Nature's painting. 
Colour she could reproduce faithfully enough, only light was 
wanting. 

She worked for an hour, lost in the artistic pleasure of her 
work, hardly knowing whether she was doing well or ill, when a 
voice behind her said quietly, — 

" Monsieur St. Armand's lessons have not been thrown away, 
I perceive. He may congratulate himself upon having so 
industrious a pupil." 

" Dr. Ollivant ! " she cried, startled, but hardly surprised. 
He had been expected that evening. 

He was standing there with his hat off, breathing quickly, as 
if from rapid walking, looking brighter than he was wont to look, 
less the dryasdust, hard-working doctor than usual. There 
was a glow upon his cheek, a light in his eye that made him 
look younger than he looked in Wimpole-street. 

" Mamma didn't expect you till supper-time," said Flora ; 
" we live in quite a primitive style here, you know — dinner at 
two, and a tea-supper at eight." 

" I changed my mind and started directly after breakfast. 
For once in my life I allowed myself to be influenced by the 
weather. There was sunshine enough even in my consulting- 
room to set me longing to be in the woods or the meadows with 
you ; so I flung discretion to the winds, and drove straight off 
to Paddington." 

" How nice of you ! " she said, putting up her brushes in the 
little paint-box. " Let us go home to mamma and give her a 
long drive. She will be so delighted to have you." 

" No, Flora, I must have my morning with you ; 1 came 
down early on purpose for that. My mother shall have her 
drive later, but you and I must spend this one May morning 
together ; you. and I, and never a third. I only called at the 



Lost for Love. 251 

bouse to ascertain which direction you had taken, and then 
came in search of you." 

" You must do as you please," said Flora, a little embarrassed, 
and with a painful recollection of a certain scene in Tadmor 
churchyard. 

" I know but one pleasure in the world, one happiness, one 
end and aim of all my days : to be with you. Flora, I have 
been very patient ; is it too soon to speak P Am I no more to 
you now than I was that day in Devonshire, when I let passion 
pet the upper hand of prudence P Have I done nothing to 
prove my truth since then ; nothing to show myself worthy of 
your love? " 

" You have been more than good to me," she answered 
gently, deeply moved; "too good; so much kinder than I 
deserve. It would be strange if I were not grateful and 
attached to you. Except mamma, you are the only friend I 
have upon earth. You have outlived my narrow world." 

There was bitterness in that last sentence, the pain of an 
inextinguishable regret. 

" Can you give me nothing more than gratitude, Flora P 
Give me but a little of the love I have given you, and must 
give you to the end of my life, and I am content. 0, my 
dearest, I ask so little from you ; hardly more than I should 
claim from a flower or a bird which I might choose to be the 
ornament of my life. Love me a little ; or at worst tolerate me ; 
suffer my love. Let me have you to cherish, and think for, and 
care for, and toil for. I will work for you, love ; labour to make 
my name famous for your sake. Grant me only as little as that, 
Flora ; it is not much to ask." 

Deeper humility never proved the wondrous depth of love. 
Flora trembled at the thought of so infinite a passion, so great 
a treasure unregarded; trembled, and with a sigh remembered 
Walter's light love and careless wooing. And she would have 
given half her life for such love as this from him. 

" It is too little for you to ask," she said timidly; " yet I can 
give no more. Papa wished me to be your wife. For his 
sake " 

" No, Flora, for my sake, not for his. As an almsgiving to a 
beggar, if you like; but out of pure pity for me, and for me 
alone. I will not have you if you would marry me for your 
father's sake. I would have taken any gift from his hand but 
that; not that. Your love, your compassion, your gratitude, 
whatever it pleases you to call it, must be freely given ; of your- 
self, from yourself." 

There was some touch of pride here, which contrasted curi- 
ously with his humility just now. 



252 Lost for Love. 

" I have let you see the world, Flora. You have had admirers 
enough to show you what kind of rivals would dispute the prize 
with me. I daresay I seem a dryasdust wooer compared with 
those young men." 

" There is not one of them worthy to be compared with you," 
she answered earnestly. " If — if I had never cared for any one 
else- — " 

His face darkened. 

" Why speak of the dead ? " he asked. " If I were Destiny 
and could give your lover back to you, do you suppose I would 
not have done it long ago, rather than be tortured by the sight 
of your grief? I cannot give him back, Flora. I cannot lay 
down my hopes again as I laid them down the day I heard of 
your engagement, and schooled myself to submit to the irrevo- 
cable. You would have heard no more of my love if Walter 
Leyburne had lived. But among the many glad young lives 
that are taken every year, Fate chose to take his ; are you to 
mourn for him all your days, change all youth's natural joya to 
sorrow because he is gone ? " 

" I have left off mourning for him, you see," she answered, 
" for I seem to be tolerably happy. I wonder at myself some- 
times, that I can be happy without papa or him. And yet I 
know that he never gave me love for love." 

"You know that?" 

" Yes. I have found out a secret about him, since his death." 

" What secret ? " asked the doctor breathlessly. 

" I cannot tell you that. I would rather never mention his 
name again. I gave him my love foolishly, childishly, unsought. 
It is so bitter to remember that." 

" Forget it, then, Flora, and reward a love which your cold- 
ness could never lessen, your indifference has nerer checked; 
measureless love, which would survive if disease effaced your 
beauty, if madness obscured your mind ; love which would cling 
to you and follow you through the worst changes that Fate 
could bring. Give me all I pray for, dearest — a tithe." 

He was kneeling on the turf at her feet, his hands clasping 
hers, his eyes raised to her downcast face, half in supplication, 
half in scrutiny. 

" I will give you all I can — fidelity and obedience." 

He drew the blushing face down to him, and kissea the 
tremulous lips, his first kiss of love. 

" My beloved," he said softly, " I would rather have fidelity 
from you than any other woman's fondest love. And if I 
cannot make you care for me, and if I cannot make you love me 
fondly before our days are done, love is something less than 
a god." 



Lost for Love. 253 

Flora felt a strange sense of rest and peacefulness after the 
ratification of that betrothal which, to her mind, had been made 
at her father's death-bed. She had never thought it possible to 
repudiate Cuthbert Ollivant's claim. Her dying father had 
given her to him. That bondage was sacred. She had shrunk 
from the thought of the day when Dr. Ollivant should claim 
his due ; but now that the claim had been made she was con- 
tent, nay, she felt more at peace than she had felt since Mark 
Chamney's death. Henceforward her lot was fixed; the quiet 
house in Wimpole- street her only home, the orderly event- 
less life to go on for all the years to come, death alone 
ending it. 

There was some happiness, after all, in being so entirely 
beloved, and that by a man whom she was proud to confess her 
superior. Society had told her a good deal about Dr. Ollivant 
of late, and his praises had sounded sweet in her ear. They 
were still more welcome to her after her betrothal, for they 
reminded her what reason she had to be proud of her lover. 
She was proud of him. If she denied him love, she gave him 
reverence. 

Never was there so submissive a mistress. She obeyed her lover 
in all things, consulted his wishes, studied his lightest inclina- 
tions, laboured to improve herself daily in some small measure, 
so that she might become less unworthy of such measureless 
devotion. They were the most chivalrous of lovers, and knew 
nothing of those pretty little quarrels, and small contests for 
power, which mingle their agreeable acidity with the honey of 
some courtships. Mrs. Ollivant basked in the sunshine of her 
son's happiness, and thought that Heaven had made this girl 
for his sake. 

" Let it be soon, dearest," said Cuthbert, one evening when 
Flora had come down to his consulting-room for a book; and 
there in that sober and somewhat gruesome chamber, where 
many a man had heard his death-warrant, the lovers stood side 
by side in the summer dusk, Flora reaching upward for the 
volume she wanted, the doctor's arm put gently round her as he 
tried to draw her towards him. 

" Never mind Oarlyle's Revolution, just now, darling. I'll 
find the volume presently. I want you to answer me that one 
question. When are we to be married ? It is nearly six months 
since you gave me your promise. You cannot say that I have 
been an impatient lover." 

"You know I am always ready to do what you wish," 
replied Flora meekly. 

" My Griselda! Let it be this day month, then — just in time 
tor me to show you Italy. November is a delightful month in 



254 ijost Jor Liove. 

Rome. We will escape London fogs ; and — well, for one of ub, 
at least, earth will be paradise." 

"I should like to see Rome," said Flora, with a subdued 
pleasure, not the girlish rapture she had felt when she thought 
of making her pilgrimage to that famous city with Walter 
Leyburne for her companion. " But isn't a month a very short 
time ? " 

" No, love, not when I have waited so long already. I 
shouldn't have been so patient perhaps, only I wished you to 
get used to the idea of our union, to be quite certain it would be 
tolerable to you. You haven't repented, have you, Flora, and 
you don't want to recall the promise you gave me by that old 
pollard beech near Farley Royal ? " 

" No, no," she said eagerly ; and then with infinite shyness, 
" I like you better now than I did then." 

" My treasure ! " he murmured, folding her in his arms with 
fondest, proudest sense of ownership. " If love deserves return, 
I have more right to be so blessed, not otherwise. My own one, 
if you knew how happy you make me by one little word like 
that. Like me, sweet, and liking shall blossom into love, by- 
and-by. I can afford to be patient, having won you." 

The date of their marriage was settled between them then 
and there. It was to be as Outhbert liked, and as mamma liked, 
Flora said. Cuthbert told her that he and his mother were of 
one mind, and that the wedding-day could not come too soon. 
They were still standing by the bookshelves, discussing this 
question, when the man-of-all-work announced " a person " to 
see Dr. Ollivant. 

There is always something uncomfortable, something doubt- 
ful, if not mysterious, in that announcement of "a person." 
The vagueness of the description has something awe-inspiring. 
The person may be anything, from the King of Terrors himself, 
bony of aspect and armed with his deadly insignia, down to the 
tax-gatherer. That word " person " covers all possibilities. 

" What does he want with me P " the doctor asked, with 
some slight irritation. " Is it a patient ? " 

" I think not, sir. I asked if he wanted to see you profes- 
sionally, and he said it was on particular business." 

" Where is he P " 

"In the hall, sir." 

"Then you had better keep your eye upon the coats and 
umbrellas. There's your book, Flora," said Dr. Ollivant, select- 
ing a volume in russet morocco ; " I'll come up-stairs directly 
I've done with this person." 

He went out of the room with Flora, and watched the little 
figure ascending tbt stairs till it was beyond his ken, before 



Lost for Love. 255 

he turned to the outer hall where the peison awaited his 
pleasure. 

There stood the person, a bulky broad-shouldered figure in 
the uncertain light. Dr. Ollivant went close up to him. 

It was Jarred Gurner. 

" What, is it you, my man ? I thought I'd done with you." 

" So I thought," replied the intruder, in a tone that was 
half sulky, half apologetic ; " but the world has been hard upon 
ine and I'm obliged to look you up again." 

" Come in here, sir," said the doctor sternly, opening the 
dining-room door as he spoke, " and let us make an end of this 
business." 

" I beg your pardon, doctor, I don't see how you can do that 
without making a clean breast of it to Miss Chamney. And I 
don't suppose you've brought your mind to that." 

The wedding-day came — very swiftly as it seemed to Flora — 
a clear calm day at the end of October, just such a day as that 
which saw Mark Chamney's death, two years ago. 

It was the quietest possible wedding, not at all like a Wim. 
pole-street wedding, as the nursemaids and gossips of the 
neighbourhood remarked to one another. A physician out of 
Cavendish-square — the square, as Wimpoleites called it — and 
Cuthbert's oldest professional friend, gave the bride away; his 
daughter, a fair-faced girl of seventeen, was the only brides- 
maid. There were no guests but these two : for the doctor had 
his own peculiar ideas about this ceremonial of marriage, and 
deemed that so solemn a cast of Fate's die should hardly be 
made amidst a smiling, critical, or indifferent crowd. 

" Had I made myself more friends — real heart-friends — I 
would bring them round you to-day, Flora," he said on that 
fateful morning; "but I have been too busy for friendship, 
and I don't care to make my wedding-day a holiday for my 
acquaintance." 

So after a quiet wedding, and a cosy little banquet at a round 
table decorated with white exotics, the doctor and his bride 
drove off to the railway station, on their way to Dover, and 
Mrs. Ollivant sighed to think how dreary the house would seem 
for the next month or so without them. 

There had been one uninvited spectator at that quiet wedding, 
in the person of Mr. Jarred Gurner, not usually given to attend 
such ceremonials ; once in a lifetime, according to his own state- 
ment, having been too much for him. But this marriage he 
beheld from behind the covert of a clustered column with con- 
siderable satisfaction. 



256 Lost for Love. 

" I think I've got him ever so much tighter now," he said 
within himself. " If the sight of me has been poison all along, 
it will be double-distilled poison in future. If he has shelled 
out pretty freely in the past, he'll have to shell out handsomer 
still by-and-by." 



'OMU 





CHAPTEE XXVIII. 

" Forgive, if somewhile I forget, 

In woe to come, the present bliss ; 
As frighted Proserpine let fall 

Her flowers at the sight of Dis : 
E'en so the dark and bright will kiss — 

The sunniest things throw sternest shade, 
And there is e'en a happiness 

That makes the heart afraid ! " 

Dk. Ollivant brought his young wife home early in December, 
to all appearances as bright and happy a bride as a man could 
desire to give gladness to his days. The Wimpole-street house 
had been swept and garnished to do her honour, the fond mother 
taking pride in the preparation of her son's home. There was 
hardly a trace of the Long Sutton primness left in any of the 
rooms, though some of the substantial old furniture remained. It 
would have cost Mrs. Ollivant too sharp a pang to part with all 
these cherished memorials of her peaceful wedded life ; the tables 
and chiffoniers which her own industrious hands had polished 
a,nd dusted in days gone by. There were flowers all about the 
room when Flora saw it after her journey, despite the wintry 
weather outside. A new carpet of more delicate hues and more 
artistic pattern replaced the Long Sutton Brussels; new cur- 
tains draped the windows — curtains of French cretonne, palest 
lavender and rose ; the design copied from a tapestry that had 
clothed the walls of Marie Antoinette's boudoir. 

" Why, it looks like a new house ! " cried Flora, gazing round 
admiringly, when she had kissed her husband's mother ever so 
many times in the gladness of reunion. 



Lost for Love. 257 

"But I am here to remind you that it is only an old one," 
said Mrs. Ollivant; " until you grow tired of me." 

'• Tired of yon, mamma! What should I do without you? 
It wouldn't be coming home at all if you were not here. We 
might as well go to an hotel at once ; mightn't we, Cuthbert ? " 

" Yes, dearest," answered the doctor, looking tenderly down 
at the fair young face in its matronly bonnet. Flora had 
insisted on wearing a bonnet since her marriage ; in. order that 
she might look like a married woman, she said, 
v" And how did you like Borne ? " asked Mrs. Ollivant, just as 
if she had been asking about Eamsgate, and could be answered 
in a sentence. 

" mamma!" exclaimed Flora, and rushed into a rapturous 
description of the great city, which lasted till Mrs. Ollivant 
grew uneasy about the dinner. 

" Come upstairs and take off your things, my pet," she said in 
the middle of Flora's account of the Colosseum by moonlight. 
Mrs. Ollivant had a vague idea that she had heard something 
of it before, and she was impatient to display the glories of those 
upstair rooms which had been refurnished for the young wife. 

Here, in the best bedroom and adjoining dressing-room, the 
Long Sutton movables had been discarded altogether. The 
doctor had furnished the rooms after his own taste, by way of 
giving Flora a pleasant surprise on her return. The room on 
the third floor, where she kept her relics of the past, would 
still be hers. No profane hand had disturbed that. But these 
rooms he had beautified as a wedding-gift for his bride. 

Dr. Ollivant's taste in upholstery leaned to an elegant sim- 
plicity. The furniture was of bright-looking light wood, the 
draperies pale blue silk, that innocent youthful blue of summer 
skies, which seemed Flora's appropriate colour, the tender hue 
of forget-me-nots blooming by some meadow-brook. The 
dressing-room was a nest of blue and white — so pretty that 
Flora gave a little breathless cry of rapture at sight of it. 

" mamma, how good you are to me! " she exclaimed. " Can 
I ever be grateful enough for so much love?" 

" It was not I, my dear," answered Mrs. Ollivant ; " I only 
superintended the alterations. Cuthbert chose everything — 
nothing could be too good or too pretty for you in his opinion." 

The doctor was on the threshold watching his young wife's 
pleased surprise. She turned to him with a smile, yet almost 
moved to tears by this new evidence of his affection. " What 
can I do to prove my gratitude, Cuthbert ? " she said. 

" Be happy, my love. It is the only favour I ask of you." 

" How can I be otherwise than happy, when you and mamma 
are so kind ? " 

B 



258 Lost for Love. 

She kissed them both in her simple innocent manner, like a 
child who bestows grateful kisses on the giver of her last new 
toy, and then began to examine her treasures in detail — the 
dressing-table, with its innumerable drawers and elaborate 
contrivances, which might have accommodated the machinery 
of a Poppa^a's charms, or of her whose toilet her warrior hus- 
band compared to an arsenal ; the dainty little davenport, with 
its blue velvet-covered desk and oxydised silver implements ; 
the luxurious easy-chair ; the jardiniere filled with china- roses 
and lilies of the valley. 

" My love, don't thank me for these trifles," remonstrated Cuth- 
bert, after another little gush of gratitude. " Do you forget that 
you are an heiress, and entitled to have every caprice gratified ? " 

" But how nice of you to find out just what I should like the 
best ! I never could go into an upholsterer's and choose the 
prettiest things in his shop and say, ' Send me home those.' It 
would seem the acme of selfishness. And, then, things I bought 
myself would never be so nice as gifts from you. How did you 
know I was so fond of blue and white ? " 

" Haven't I seen you wear them ? It would be strange if I 
didn't know your favourite colours, love, when your tastes and 
inclinations are the most interesting study I have." 

Thus began a wedded life which was like a pastoral poem in 
its simple happiness. On one side, the profoundest, strongest 
love which man's heart is capable of feeling ; on the other side, 
a gentle affection which time ripened and strengthened. If a 
man could turn a key upon the chamber of memory, and say to 
himself, " I will unlock that door never again," Outhbert Olli- 
vant might have been supremely content ; but even his vigorous 
mind failed in the endeavour to forget one particular scene in 
his life, and the thought of that summer day on the cliff near 
Branscomb rose before him like a ghost amidst his happiest hours. 

Even that remorseful memory could not destroy his happiness ; 
it only gave a feverish taste to joy — as of something that might be 
fleeting. The one fatal question would suggest itself, " What 
if she knew the truth P " 

Or what if in some evil hour an enemy's version of facts were 
presented to her, and the real truth, as known to the all-seeing 
Judge, were withheld from her knowledge ? Were she to learn 
half the truth from malicious lips, would she believe the whole 
truth if she heard it from his ? Would she give him an instant's 
credence if she knew that he had deceived her all along, had 
known the history of her lover's death and kept it from her, caused 
that death, and smiled in her face, and pretended to console her? 

"There are treasons, that a woman cannot forgive," thought 
Dr. Ollivant, " and mine is one of them." 



Lost for Love 259 

In everything that her did for her — every service he rendered, 
every fresh proof of his abounding love — he remembered that 
unforgiven, undiscovered wrong, and thought how she would 
have scorned his kindness and repudiated his gifts, if she had 
but known. And Fate hovered about his path always, in tho 
person of Jarred Gurner; not an easy gentleman to manage, as 
Cuthbert Ollivant had already discovered. 

Thus there was always a scorpion among the smiling blos- 
soms of the doctor's Eden; and when Flora looked at him 
most kindly, thoughts of darkest possibilities would flit across 
the secret chambers of his brain and poison his delight. 

Something in his manner made Flora suspect that he had 
secret cares, and one day she taxed him with hiding his troubles 
from her. 

" I don't want to be a fair-weather wife, Cuthbert," she said 
to him one day, " or to be treated quite as a child, though it is 
very nice to be so petted by you and mamma. You have such 
a pained look sometimes, a look that darkens your face for a 
moment like a passing cloud. And I have heard you sigh in the 
midst of a smile. I know you have some anxiety which you 
fancy you ought to hide from me. That isn't kind of you, dear. 
I have a right to share your burdens." 

" You lighten them all, my pet. As to trouble, a professional 
man must always have perplexities. I mustn't bring the shop 
into our home-life. My mother can tell you that I have no 
troubles of my own. Providence has been very good to me. I 
earn more money than we can spend. My name is rising in my 
profession. And I have the sweetest wife that Heaven ever 
bestowed upon an erring mortal." 

" You mean to say that you are quite happy then, Cuthbert ? 
And when I see that troubled look come over your face I may 
feel assured it is only some unselfish care for one of your patients 
that disturbs you ?" 

" Think what you like, love, except that I can be unhappy 
when I have you. Perhaps I may feel a little like Polycrates 
when he threw his ring into the sea, or Croesus when he bragged 
to Solon. There is such a thing as being too happy." 

The doctor kept a closer guard upon himself after this, and 
let no cloud upon his countenance betray that hidden page of 
memory, the one fatal page at which the book would open. 

Never was wife more indulged than Flora. Her existence was 
one bright holiday, spent among books and flowers and music, 
fenced in and surrounded by love. Of the actual burden of life 
she knew nothing. Mrs. Ollivant kept the house, and took the 
weight of all sordid caies upon her own patient shoulders. 
Flora was never plagued about servants or butcher's bills, or 



260 Lost jtr T,ove. 

perplexed about ordering of dinners. If she had lived in a fairy 
palace, where all the household work was performed by enchant- 
ment, she could not have been more free from household cares. 
And for once' in a way that much-abused relationship of mother- 
in-law and daughter-in-law resulted in perfect harmony. Mrs. 
Ollivant senior was not reduced to a nonentity in the home 
where she had been accustomed to rule, and Mrs. Ollivant junior 
did not consider herself ill-used because her mother-in-law kept 
the keys and gave her orders to the servants. Nor did the 
servants even complain that they had two mistresses, for all 
were agreed upon regarding Flora as a kind of ornamental 
addition to the household, its glory and its pride. The cook 
would come to the top of the kitchen staircase to peep at her 
when she was going to a party ; the housemaids felt honoured 
when she permitted them to assist her in the arrangement of 
the flowers that filled jardinieres and vases, and beautified every 
room with which Flora had anything to do. Arranging the 
flowers and seeing to the birds — the big cage of canaries was 
established in the back drawing-room window — made up the 
sum of young Mrs. Ollivant's household work. 

The house in Wimpole-street was gayer this winter than it 
had been yet. Flora found it necessary to have an evening for 
her friends, a reception at which there was always good music 
and pleasant society, while Mrs. Ollivant senior took care that 
there should be unsurpassable tea and coffee, and a well- 
furnished buffet in the dining-room; a detail that helped to 
make the doctor's house popular. When the opera season 
began, Dr. Ollivant surprised his wife with the gift of a box on 
the pit tier of Covent Garden ; small, but snug, and newly fur- 
nished for its new tenant. He asked her one day if she would 
not like to have a country house ; and when she smiled and said 
" Yes, it would be rather nice," flung the title-deeds of a villa 
at Teddington, just above the lock, into her lap. 

" You need not be mewed up in London always, my love, 
because I am too selfish to part from you," he said. " Tedding- 
ton is near enough for me to come backwards and forwards every 
day, and you can go and stay there whenever you like; though 
I confess to feeling happier even down-stairs in my consulting- 
room when I know that you are here, and that I may see your 
bright face at any moment." 

Furnishing the Teddington villa made a pleasing diversion 
from Hyde Park and the Italian Opera. This time Flora chose 
all the furniture, with occasional advice and assistance from her 
husband. Dr. Ollivant had bought the villa as a toy for his 
wife, and he wished her to have the largest possible amount of 
amusement out of it. 



Lost for Love. 261 

This was his only notion of atonement for that wrong the 
memory of which stung him like a serpent's tooth. That his 
wife should have every delight that the heart of a woman could 
desire — through him — be sheltered from every peril, relieved of 
every care — by him — so that if ever, with the knowledge of that 
deadly secret, she should come to hate him, she must even then, 
looking back at her present life, confess, " He was good to me, 
and some of my happiest days were spent with him." 

Was Flora perfectly happy in her new life ? If she had been 
asked that question, and had examined the woof of her existence 
ever so narrowly, she would have found it difficult to discover 
flaw or speck in the fabric. She looked back sometimes at the 
unforgotten girlish days and their dead joys ; but it seemed to 
her that the Flora of that time was some one else, a girl she 
had known, beloved and happy — an image of her girlhood and 
thoughtless gladness which had faded out of the world long ago. 
Our lives are rarely homogeneous — the same in shape and 
substance and colour. They are rather particoloured patches 
of existence, joined together haphazard by Fate's rough work- 
manship. Looking back at that old life and its cloudless 
unquestioning delight, Flora still held it the best and happiest 
of her years. But she confessed to herself and to her husband 
that she was perfectly happy in the present, happy even when 
she sat alone in that rural churchyard on the north side of 
London, where her father slept the sweetest of all slumbers 
under the gray granite cross that marked his last abiding-place. 
" Papa wished us to be married," she said to her husband 
once; " that is my happiest thought when I go to look at his 
grave. I should be miserable if I had married any one he 
liBliked." 



262 Lost for Love. 



CHAPTER XXIX. 

** There shall be time for deeds, and soon enough, 
Let that come when it may. And it may be 
Deeds must be done shall shut and shrivel up 
All quiet thoughts, and quite preclude repose 
To the end of time. Upon this narrow strait 
And promontory of our mortal life 
We stand between what was, and is not yet." 

Any privileged person who had been admitted to the sacred 
interior of Mr. Gurner's home at this period could hardly have 
failed to perceive a change in that gentleman's manner of living 
— nay, even in the man himself — though here the difference, 
being more subtle, would naturally have been more difficult to 
define. 

It was one of Jarred Gurner's idiosyncrasies, however, to keep 
himself very much to himself, so far as the domestic hearth 
was concerned, and to invite no one to his house, unless for 
some special reason, grounded upon self-interest. Few visitors 
had ever been allowed the privileges of intimate friendship 
which Jarred had accorded to Mr. Leyburne. He had his 
friends — chosen comrades and allies — but these he was in the 
habit of meeting at certain favourite taverns in the neighbour- 
hood, where social intercourse was less restrained than it might 
have been in his own house, and the materials for conviviality 
were ready to hand. 

" I don't want anybody spying about my place," Mr. Gurner 
was wont to remark; an observation not altogether compli- 
mentary to those boon companions whose jovial society gave 
wings to his evening hours. 

Thus it happened that there were few to remark the change 
that had come over the spirit of Jarred Gurner's life inside the 
house in Voysey-street. The gossips outside took note of the 
fact that Mrs. Gurner bought more butcher's meat than in 
former years, and that Jarred came home tipsy oftener than of 
old, and worked less, as testified by the darkness of the first- 
floor-front windows on many an evening, instead of the cheerful 
glare of gas which had formerly testified to his industry. 

Prosperity therefore of some kind, the Voysey-street gossips 
opined, had befallen the Gurners. It was not that the second- 



Lost for Love. 263 

hand wardrobe business was brisker than of old, for the tawdry 
garments hung even longer in the window and the shop-door 
bell jingled less frequently. Had the Gurners been blessed 
with a legacy — that windfall from the golden apple-trees of 
Fortune's Hesperidian garden? This question Voysey-street 
answered in the negative. A legacy was a blessing which old 
Mrs. Gurner would have bragged about. It would have been 
heard of at the chandler's, and been mentioned at the bar of 
the King's Head, where Mrs. Gurner went daily, and twice 
a day, for beer. No; there was something mysterious in the 
source of the Gurners' prosperity — something that Voysey- 
street could not get to the bottom of. 

Could these inquisitive spirits have entered Jarred's domestic 
circle, they might have seen that his prosperity, whatever its 
source, was not an unalloyed blessing. He had ever been too 
apt to do his work in spurts, and to loaf away long gaps of 
time between his spasmodic bursts of industry. But now the 
spurts of application to business were rarer ; his hand was less 
steady, his eye less keen when he did work. He neglected some 
of his best customers, both in the violin and picture trade ; con- 
trived to mislay a genuine Straduarius back which he was to 
have worked into the anatomy of a modern fiddle, mellowed by 
ten years' use in an orchestra, whereby that instrument would 
have become, according to the dealer's warrantry, a genuine 
Straduarius. He dawdled over a picture for a patron whom he 
would formerly have put himself out of the way to serve. In 
a word, Jarred Gurner, who had never trodden the fairest high- 
ways of life, was now on the road to ruin. 

Mrs. Gurner perceived and lamented this decadence of her 
son, and bewailed it in many a rhapsody upon the obscure ways 
of Fate, poured into the ear of the desultory handmaiden who 
now came for three or four hours a day to help in the house- 
work, but rather as a semi-soliloquy, or involuntary flow of 
eloquence, like the philosophic outbursts of a Greek Chorus, 
than as a positive address to this damsel. 

True that there was less difficulty about the water-rate than 
in days of yore, and that solid butcher's meat usurped the 
place of such cheaper delicacies as tripe, sausages, cowheel, and 
sheep's-head on Mrs. Gurner's board. Yet even this abundance 
brought no sense of satisfaction to that depressed householder's 
mind, for there was an air of insecurity about Jarred's life 
which troubled her more than the small perplexities of the 
past. 

Perhaps Mrs. Gurner felt these anxieties all the more keenly 
for lack of the accustomed confidante of all her woes. Louisa 
was missing from that small household, and no one in Yoysey- 



264 Lost for Love. 

street knew whither she had departed. A cab had been seen in 
the autumnal dawn, two years ago, by a few early risers — 
Voysey-street was not famous for early hours — a cab laden -with 
a trunk and a bonnet-box, both new, standing at Mrs. Gurner'a 
door ; and Louisa had been seen to enter this cab, while Jarred, 
in shirt-sleeves and slippers, gave instructions to the cabman. 
Father and daughter had been seen to kiss affectionately and 
part; and from that day to this Voysey-street knew Louisa 
Gurner no more. 

Mrs. Gurner, when questioned by her gossips, replied that 
Louisa was in a situation; whereupon some among her inti- 
mates remarked to each other that they hoped it was a situation 
which became a young woman to be in, but that they, for their 
parts, never liked mystery, and were inclined to think that old 
Mrs. Gurner wouldn't be quite so close about that dark-eyed 
granddaughter of hers if there were not something to hide 
from the searching light of public opinion. 

The house, or that portion of it which the Gurners occupied, 
had a dreary air without Loo's quick step, and snatches of song, 
and brightly dark face flashing out from shadowy corners, as the 
girl moved briskly to and fro. The hireling who did Loo's work 
for half-a-crown a week and her dinner was afflicted with red 
hair and white eyelashes — was, moreover, slightly deaf, very 
slow in her movements, and subject to chronic influenza. 

" It has been my lot in life to lose every creature that be- 
longed to me," remarked Mrs. Gurner drearily, as she took her 
place at the dinner-table, after a somewhat exasperating 
morning's work with this girl. 

Jarred, not long risen from his late- sought couch, unwashed, 
uncombed, and in his favourite neglige costume of shirt-sleeves 
and rusty black-velvet smoking cap, yawned and stretched as 
he listlessly contemplated the board, where a shoulder of 
mutton, roasted to a turn, and basted with heroic constancy 
by Mrs. Gurner's own hand, and a savoury mess of creamy- 
looking onion-sauce, invited his languid appetite. 

" Well, you haven't lost me, anyhow, old lady," he said, 
between two yawns. 

" I'm not so sure about that neither, Jarred," bemoaned the 
afflicted mother. " So far as sleeping under the same roof— at 
hours when respectable folks are up and about — and making 
believe to eat your meals here — for healthy appetite you have 
none— I'll allow that I haven't lost you. But you're no more 
the Jarred you used to be a few years ago than the hair 
under my false front is the colour it was when I was 
twenty years of age, and people called me the pretty Mrs. 
Gurner." 



Lost for Love. 265 

" Ah," said Jarred, with a careless sigh, " all things change- 
It's the first law of Nature. 

' Man's yesterday may ne'er be like his morrow ', 
Naught may endure but mutability.' 

There's poetry for you, and sound sense into the hargain. You 
don't always find them together." 

" I shouldn't complain of your changing, Jarred," whimpered 
Mrs. Gurner, looking despondently at the plate of meat which 
her son had just handed her, and helping herself to onion-sauce 
with an air of beiDg above such trivial considerations as sance 
to meat, " if I could get to the bottom of it, ana knew wha\ nai 
brought it about. But I can't, and I don't. There was> neve» iv 
mother who had less of her son's confidence than I have. Tou 
spend our quarter's income before the quarter's half over; and 
then, when there isn't a penny in the house, and no resource 
open to you that I know of, you go out some evening, and come 
back after midnight very much the worse for liquor, and with 
your pocket fall of sovereigns." 

" Come, stop that howling," cried Jarred sternly, the slum- 
bering tiger in that gentleman's breast fully awakened by this 
time. " I don't think you've any reason to complain. You live 
better than you've ever lived before, since I can remember. You 
haven't the tax-gatherer hounding you, or the landlord pressing 
for his rent, and you may shut up that tinpot shop of yours to- 
morrow if you like, and fold your arms and sit by the fire, and 
do nothing but nag — you'll never leave that off while there's a 
tongue in your head — for the rest of your days. What does it 
matter to you how I come by my money, or what I do with it, 
so long as I keep a good home over your head, and fill your 
inside with first-class victuals P" 

" That's all very well, Jarred, but it isn't enough for a mother , 
a mother's anxieties are not so easily stifled. I want to know 
where your money comes from." 

" Why, I work hard for some of it, don't I ? " growled Mr. 
Gurner, pushing away his plate, after a vain attempt to do 
justice to that well-cooked shoulder. 

" Precious little can you get by the work you do nowadays, 
Jarred." 

" Well, you know where the most of our money comes from, 
at any rate." 

" I know there's three hundred a year allowed us— and a very 
liberal allowance too, and one that might keep us with comfort, 
and in a more respectable neighbourhood than Voysey-street, if 
you weren't so reckless." 

" Hang your respectable neighbourhoods ! What do I wan 



266 jjQ$t jor Liove. 

with a respectable neighbourhood, where there's nothing but 
psalm-singing old tabbies, who would be on the listen to catch 
me coming home late ; a nest of gossips where a man can't take 
an extra glass, or stand at his door-step of an evening with a 
clay pipe in his mouth, without setting the whole street mag- 
ging about him ? You may make you mind easy about that. 
If ever I leave Voysey-street it will be to go farther afield than 
you'll care to travel with me." 

" I said so," sobbed Mrs. Gurner. " I felt it hanging over me. 
You'll be the next to desert me." 

" I shall do it pretty quick, if you don't put a check upon that 
worrying tongue of yours," responded Jarred sharply. " There, 
I don't want a chapter in Lamentations — make the best of 
life, if you can. Most women in your place would think them- 
selves uncommonly lucky after the stroke of good fortune that 
happened to us a year or two ago." 

" It hasn't made my life any brighter, Jarred. It has robbed 
me of the only one of my kith and kin that I had to care for, 
except you, and it has made you and me farther apart than we 
used to be." 

" That's what I call high-falutin," retorted Jarred. " If you 
expect that I am to sit at home and mope when I've a shilling 
to spare for a lively evening at the Hare and Hounds, or in the 
pit of a theatre where there's a good burlesque on, you expect 
too much. Human nature is human nature all the world over, 
and I'm too much of a man to be exempt from the weaknesses 
of mankind." 

Mrs. Gurner sighed, and desisted from her complainings. She 
knew Jarred well enough to know that it was perilous to push 
him too far. Vegetable-dish covers and pewter pots flying, 
meteor-like, across the room were phenomena that had been 
beheld in Voysey-street. 

The year wore on — the second year of Dr. Ollivant's wedded 
ife, and Jarred Gurner seemed to grow daily less inclined for 
work. The dust lay thick upon the implements of his handi- 
craft, the little jars and pots of oil and varnish and turpentine, 
the rags and sponges and flannels, accumulated in a heteroge- 
neous heap upon a table in the first-floor front, which was at once 
Jarred's workshop, bed-chamber, and private sitting-room ; the 
chamber where the Lamia picture had been painted. The canvas 
still stood there, its face turned to the wall, dusty, cob-welj 
garnished, incomplete, forgotten — like that worst of all ruins, a 
wasted life. 

As time went by, Jarred loved work less and pleasure more. 
He extended his circle of acquaintance out of doors, and the 
agreeable element of female society began to enter more freely 



Lost for Love. 267 

into his life. He speculated a little on the turf, in a public-house- 
parlour way, went to Hampton races with a jovial party, wore 
a white hat and blue necktie, dressed altogether more smartly 
than of old, and was often in want of money. 

Three hundred a year — that fixed income which Mr. Garner 
received from some unknown source — was not enough to support 
him in idleness and provide him with pleasure. It happens 
unfortunately for those gay spirits who derive all their gladness 
from external things, and whose mirth requires to be stimulated 
and sustained by perpetual amusement, that a day's pleasure 
generally costs more than a week's maintenance. The people 
who get rich are those who are content with the bread-and- 
cheese of life, and jog on at an even pace through an industrial 
career, to find themselves, too late perhaps for enjoyment, but 
not too late for pride, owners of large fortunes. 

Jarred's amusements, though coarse, were costly, and the 
income which, administered by Mrs. Gurner, might have sufficed 
for comfort and gentility, in Jarred's hands was always running 
out, and leaving a blank and dismal interval to be supplied 
somehow. 

These periods of dearth were especially irritating to Mr. Gur- 
ner's temper, a temper which had never known the curb, but had 
been allowed from Jarred's earliest boyhood as free and wild a 
career as that of an untamed mustang on the Texan prairie, 
and which had been rendered more violent of late by constant 
alcohol. Even Mrs. Gurner ceased her strophes and antistrophes 
of lamentation when Jarred was in one of his tempers ; for his 
fits of passion lasted longer than of old, and were less amenable 
to the softening influence of hot suppers and gin-and- water. 
At such times she waited upon him with submissive attention, 
and was discreetly taciturn, knowing too well how light a breath 
would fan the smouldering fire into a destroying blaze. 

It was early in June, and Voysey-street resounded with the 
cry of mackerel at three a shilling, when Mr. Gurner came 
home in the vesper hour, with gloomy aspect and strong 
symptoms of that moral hydrophobia to which he was subject. 
That early return to the domestic hearth was in itself an indi- 
cation of empty pockets ; for if Mr. Gurner had been provided 
with money he would most likely have betaken himself to the 
Hare and Hounds or to the King's Head at this hour, to solace 
himself with gin-and-water, "cold without," and discuss the 
odds about the runners in the Hampton races, which were now 
on, to-morrow being the great day. 

Too well did Mrs. Gurner know the meaning of her son's 
clouded brow, as he swung open the parlour-door, walked past 
her without a word, and flung himself into his easy-chair by the 



268 Lost for Love. 

fireless grate. The matron was drinking tea, with the accom. 
paniment of a penny twist, a pat of fresh butter fast reducing 
itself to oil, and a plate of shrimps too long alienated from 
their native deep. 

" Upon my soul, the place isn't fit to live in, mother," cried 
Mr. Gurner, falling foul of these innocent crustaceans. " If 
you must have shrimps, you might as well have them fresh, and 
not poison my inside with such things as those." 

" I must take them as they come to Voysey-street, Jarred," 
sighed Mrs. Gurner plaintively. " You can't expect the best 
of everything in such a neighbourhood as this, a neighbour- 
hood that wasn't much to boast of when first we came to it, and 
has been going down ever since as fast as it can go. If you 
don't like the shrimps, you're not called upon to partake of 
them." 

" But I am called upon to smell 'em. You'd better go and 
chuck 'em on the dustheap, if you don't want to drive me out 
of the place. It isn't much of a place for a man to come to at 
the best of times, without your turning it into a cholera den 
with unwholesome food." 

Mrs. Gurner groaned feebly, took up the plate and went out into 
the back premises, to sacrifice the offending shellfish, which she 
cast upon the family altar of the dustheap with a regretful sigh. 

" I'm sure I'm not likely to do anything calculated to drive 
you out of doors, Jarred," she said, " for I see little enough of 
you nowadays." 

" You'd see less if it wasn't for my infernal luck," responded 
her dutiful son. " I ought to have been at Hampton to-day, 
instead of eating my heart out and kicking my heels up and 
down Fleet-street, waiting for the telegrams at the Sporting 
News office." 

"i should have thought you'd seen enough of the con- 
ftcauences of horse-racing to keep clear of it, Jarred," moaned 
*Ofe despondent mother. 

" I've seen the evil consequences of betting with other people's 
money, if that's what you mean," answered Mr. Gurner im- 
patiently ; " but I'm not going to join in the cant your parsons 
and such-like talk about the turf, because there are always a 
certain number of fools who make it their road to ruin. Does 
anybody fall foul of the Stock Exchange? Yet there are 
plenty of stockbrokers go to the bad every year of our lives. 
Or who stands up to abuse the cotton trade, or the coal trade, 
or the shipping interest ? Yet there are failures enough in all 
of 'em. Of course I've seen men cleaned out on the turf; and 
I've seen omnibus cads and butcher's boys make half-a-million 
of money, and keep their houses in Hyde-park-gardens, through 



Lost for Love. 269 

horse-racing. Am I never to try to better myself because men 
have iroiie to the bad before me ? " 

" It liorse-raciug improved your temper, Jarred, or made you 
seem happier in your mind, why I might shut my eyes to the 
experience of the past, and reconcile myself to your enjoying 
life your own way," said Mrs. Gurner, venturing somewhat 
farther than wisdom would have counselled, beguiled by her son's 
manner, which was moody and despondent rather than violent. 

" You d have had nothing to say against horse-racing, I dare- 
say, if Soapsuds had come in winner to-day, and I'd brought 
home a pocketful of money." 

" I don't know about that, Jarred ; remembering what I re- 
member, I should fancy the sovereigns smelt of Van Diemen's 
Land." 

" O Lord, can't you let bygones be bygones?" exclaimed 
Jarred, turning impatiently in his chair, and proceeding to con- 
quer the lingering odours of fish with the fumes of cavendish 
and Virginia. " That's the worst of old people, they remember 
too much, and are always preaching about the past. It would 
be a blessed thing for us if we could all have a dip in the 
waters of Lethe once a year, and come out fresh and lively." 

" Yes," sighed Mrs. Gurner; " life would come easier if we 
could forget." 

" By the way, mother," said Jarred, with a complete change 
of tone, and something of that agreeable manner which had 
been wont to distinguish him when things went well, " you 
haven't paid away that three-pound-ten I gave you for the 
rates the other day, have you ? " 

" The poor-rate collector has been and taken his money, 
Jarred, which the receipt is on the mantel-piece to confirm my 
words. The water has not called ; but I expect him to-morrow 
morning." 

" How much is the water-rate ? " 

" One pound three- and- six." 

" Then you can let me have the money for a day or two, 
mother. I want to go a little way in the country to-morrow on 
business, and that'll just pay my expenses." 

" It's your own to do what you please with, of course, Jarred," 
replied Mrs. Gurner reluctantly ; " but I'm bound to tell yon 
the water will be cut off to-morrow night if the rate isn't ready 
when the collector calls." 

" 0, nonsense ! We've been precious regular lately." 

" He has called twice already, Jarred." 

" Very well ; the next step will be a summons, I daresay. 
I'll pay the rate before the week's out. Hand us over the 
money, old lady." 



270 Lost for Love. 

Mrs. Gurner fumbled in the pocket of her gown, and then in 
an under pocket, with a slowness particularly exasperating to 
her son, who pulled at his pipe feverously while he watched 
her movements. At last, however, she withdrew her skinny 
hand from that receptacle in her quilted stuff petticoat, and 
produced some money screwed up in a piece of newspaper, 
which Jarred straightway pounced upon, counted at a glance, 
and dropped into his waistcoat-pocket. 

" Thank you, mother. You needn't give yourself any un- 
easiness about the water-rate. If it comes to that," he added, 
seeing the gathering tears in his parent's faded eyes, " you can 
always turn on the waterworks yourself. There never was 
such an old party to snivel. Good-night." 

" Are you going out again, Jarred ? " 

" Yes ; I've an appointment with a fellow who's going to 
give me a Teniers to restore, round the corner. I shan't be 
above an hour." 

" Ah," sighed Mrs- Gurner, as the door banged behind her 
departing son. " I know what Jarred's hours are. There's no 
use in getting him a savoury little bit of supper nowadays. 
He's never home in time to eat it, and his appetite wouldn't do 
credit to a sparrow." 

Jarred had taken the money from his mother in order to 
provide for to-morrow's expenses at Hampton. He had set 
his heart on going to the races, for he had speculated some- 
what heavily on certain events of the day, and he wanted to 
see his confidence rewarded, to be there on the spot to know 
the best or the worst as soon as it could be known. That 
waiting for tidings on the broiling flags of Meet-street had 
sorely tried his impatient spirit. 

Had he been wise, even in the pursuit of folly, Jarred Gurner 
would have asked his mother to give him the money next 
morning ; for once furnished with ready cash, it was not within 
the compass of his nature to sit quietly at home. He would 
go round to the King's Head, take a glass of gin-and-water in 
the skittle-alley, which was a cooler place of resort than the 
parlour on such an evening as this, and watch the play. He 
was fully determined not to touch a ball, whatever form social 
temptation might take; and Jarred, broad-shouldered, long- 
armed, muscular, was a famous skittle-player. He had lost 
and won many a shilling at this game ; but won oftener than 
he lost, and might have come off a winner in the long-run had 
he confined his risks to skittle-playing, It was the betting in 
the parlour that wrecked him. 

He wended his way to his favourite hostelry, a house which 
looked so clean and cool and respectable on a summer evening, that 



Lost for Love. 271 

a wanderer from some distant sphere, beholding a tavern for the 
first time, might have supposed it the chosen home of inno- 
cence and peace. The shining pewter measures, the pewter 
counter, the gilded lettering of spirit casks, gleamed in the 
rosy beams of a setting sun. The spirit of tranquil enjoyment 
seemed to hover over the scene, as Jarred pushed open the 
swinging door of that inner temple, the sanctuary of the privi- 
leged, known as the order department, and passed thence bj 
a side door into a shadowy sanded passage which led to th< 
skittle-alley, ordering his refreshment of the attendant nympl 
at the bar as he went by. 

The evening sports were in full swing; his chosen friends 
among the players and lookers-on — talk and laughter loud, 
the lights shining dimly through an atmosphere cloudy with 
tobacco. Jarred felt that he began to live again, and with him 
life meant unbridled inclinations, the pleasure of the hour, to 
be paid for in the future perhaps, and heavily. But these free 
souls seldom count the cost. 

It was eight o'clock when Jarred joined the revellers in the 
skittle-alley. He left it at half-past ten, a sadder but not a 
wiser man, poorer to the extent of the sum reserved for the 
water-rate, reckless, angry with Fate and with his own fatuity, 
and with a somewhat unreasonable sense of resentment against 
Mrs. Gurner for having so weakly yielded up the money which 
he had demanded from her. 

" If the old woman had only stuck to it till to-morrow morn- 
ing, I might have had a jolly day at Hampton," he said to 
himself; " as it is I've very little chance of seeing the races, 
unless Jobury does the good-natured thing, and gives me a lift 
in his tax-cart." 

Jcbury was a sporting butcher, one of the boldest spirits in 
Mr. Gurner's circle, who plunged heavily, and was supposed to 
he in a fair way to attaining distinction on the tur,f. There 
was a vague tradition that Jobury had once had a fourth 
share in a famous three-year-old, and had just escaped greaf 
ness by losing the Derby. 

Jarred strolled round to Jobury's abode, but found tha 
gentleman had not yet placed himself under the shelter of hi? 
Penates, but was expected home to supper any time befora 
midnight. Mrs. Jobury, a depressed and somewhat peevish- 
looking female, gave Jarred this information reluctantly, and 
having given it, slammed the street-door in his face, hardly 
affording him time to state his intention of favouring Mr. 
Jobury with a later call. There are wives whose ill-regulated 
minds cannot appreciate the glories of the turf. 

Jarred muttered an imrjrecation upon his Eumenides, whom 



272 Lost for Love. 

he was wont to revile rather than to conciliate, ^nd turned 
away from Mr. Jobury's threshold, scarcely knowingfcvhither to 
betake himself. He paused at the street corner to light his 
pipe, and took a turning which brought him into Goodge- street. 
He walked down Charles-street and Mortimer- street, crossed 
Eegent- street, and entered the aristocratic region of Cavendish- 
square. Once here, the inclination to push on to Wimple- street 
was too strong to be resisted. He had drunk just enough to 
make him reckless. True that he was pledged not to approach 
Dr. Ollivant' s dwelling on pain of forfeiting all claim to occa- 
sional largesse from that gentleman. But Jarred cherished an 
inward conviction that, whatever the doctor might threaten, 
he, Jarred, possessed just that power to worry his victim which 
could not be denied — that, however the native manhood of the 
victim might rise up against him, ready to defy his capacity for 
working evil, the end would be subjection and subsidy. 

This idea, strengthened and sustained by alcohol, fortified 
Mr. Gurner to-night, as he knocked a spirited double-knock at 
the doctor's door. 

The factotum, who had seen him two or three times be- 
fore, and regarded him with marked disfavour, looked at him 
dubiously. 

"Ihe family at home?" 

" The ladies are at the villa at Teddington, sir. My master 
is in town ; but I don't think he will see you at such a late hour 
as this." 

" yes, he will," said Jarred, with a swaggering air — he felt 
a very big man before this meek-voiced butler ; " he'll see me." 

" Yes," said a voice from the back of the hall, " I'll see you. 
Walk this way, if you please." 

Dr. Ollivant had opened the door of his consulting-room, 
disturbed perhaps by Jarred's loud knock. He stood upon 
the threshold of that sacred chamber, waiting for his guest to 
pass in. 

Jarred was slightly disconcerted by the promptitude of his 
reception. It would have suited his present temperament 
better to have had occasion to bluster a little before he obtained 
admittance. 

That very quietude of the doctor's manner chilled him. He 
took off his hat hastily, and shifted the brim round with a some- 
what nervous movement of his ungloved hands. 

" I daresay you are rather surprised by the hour of my call, 
Dr. Ollivant P " he began. 

" Not at all ; one hardly expects a man of your stamp to be 
particular about hours. But I am very much surprised that 
you should come here at all." 



Lost for Love. 273 

"Why so?" 

" Because by so doing you forfeit all claim upon my future 
consideration. I think I put that to you very clearly when last 
■we met." 

" 0, come, I say, doctor," exclaimed Jarred, flinging himself 
into one of the substantial morocco-covered chairs — a chair so 
respectable of make and antecedents that it may well have re- 
sented this degrading contact with an agonised creak — " come, 
I say, doctor," repeated Jarred, throwing his hat upon the table 
as if it had been a glove, " let's talk plain English while we're 
about it. There's nothing like sticking to plain English. What 
you call future consideration I call hush-money. That's English. 
Now, do you mean to say that because, impelled by the force of 
circumstances', — there was a thickness of utterance, a throati- 
ness, as singers call it, in Jarred's long words that made him 
rather difficult to follow just here—" because I find myself at devil- 
ish low water, in a financial sense, and come here to you to ask 
a favour, as between man and man — I say, as between man and 
man," repeated Jarred, pleased with the phrase, " that you mean 
to turn rusty and say I'm never to get another blessed fiver 
out of you on account of holding my tongue about that little 
affair down at Branscomb ? " 

" I do mean most emphatically to say that you shall never 
more have a sixpence from me by way of hush-money ; and that 
I despise myself for having been weak enough to let you make 
a criminal transaction out of an unhappy accident." 

" Come, you've had the best of it so far. You got rid of a 
dangerous rival, and you got the lady you were sweet upon." 

" I'll trouble you to keep my wife's name out of the business, 
and to reserve your speculations upon my affairs. I told you 
before my marriage that whatever money I gave you henceforth 
I would give in my own manner and at my own time ; that I 
acknowledge no claim, and that any approach to persecution on 
your part would be met on my side by defiance. There may be 
men who would consent to hold their domestic peace on the 
sufferance of a scoundrel of your class for a lifetime ; but I am 
not one of those men. It may be that you have the power to 
destroy my happiness ; but you must be aware that in so doing 
you destroy your own chances of future advantage. I am will- 
ing to supply you with small sums of money from time to time, 
since no single amount in the present, however large, would 
secure you from future want or me from future annoyance. I 
am willing to do this, on the one condition that you will keep 
your distance, and assail me neither by letter nor by visit." 

" And suppose I say that I will be bound by no such con- 
dition, that I will choose my own time, and be governed by my 



274 Lost for Love. 

own necessities, in applying to you for assistance ? What would 
be your answer to that per-p-p-ropersition, Dr. Ollivant?" 

" A very brief and practical answer. I should give you in 
charge for attempting to extort money." 

"And stand the racket, eh ?"' 

" And abide the issue of anything you could say about me. 
Do you for one moment suppose — looking at my position and 
at yours — that the world would believe any unlikely story you 
might tell against me ? " 

" I'm not thinking of what the world would believe, Dr. Olli- 
vant. I'm thinking of your wife : how my story would affect 
her. That's the consideration. She can't quite have forgotten 
the young man she kept company with. Oome now, I don't 
want to be disagreeable, but business is business. I'm bound to 
attend Hampton races to-morrow, and I haven't a stiver to pay 
my fare down or to clear my engagements if things go against 
me. Give me a ten-pound note, and you shall hear no more of 
me for the next six months." 

" You are very obliging ; but I gave you my ultimatum when 
last you favoured me with a call. I will send you a post-office 
order for ten pounds on the twenty-ninth of next September, 
and will send you the same amount on every ensuing quarter- 
day ; but I will not give you one shilling in this house, or in 
compliance with an insolent demand." 

" I didn't come here to be insolent ; I came here because I was 
in desperate want of money. Don't aggravate a man that's 
down on his luck, Dr. Ollivant. Unlucky men are reckless, and 
reckless men are dangerous. I'm unlucky, therefore I'm danger- 
ous. There's a syllo — syllo — what's its name for you, doctor." 

" You have had my answer." 

" So be it," replied Jarred, drawing himself together with the 
stateliness of intoxication. " Remember my syllogy — what's its 
name. Ergo, I'm dangerous. Good-night." 

He stalked to the door, like the Ghost in Hamlet, holding his 
hat as though it were that kingly phantom's truncheon. 

" You've given me your ultimatum, I've given you my syllo — 
syl — lollogism. Good-night," he murmured thickly; and so 
departed through the hall and out at the street-door, to the last 
preserving that air of Hamlet's father, the doctor watching him. 
Dr. Ollivant rang the bell sharply as the door closed on his visitor. 

" Take care never again to admit that person," he said to the 
man-of-all-work. 

" Yes, sir." 

" He is a man I have assisted, and who has become importu- 
nate. Should he press for admittance, at any time you may 
give him in charge." 



Lost for Love. 275 

" Certainly, sir." 

Dr. Ollivant went back to his consulting-room — that vault- 
like chamber lined from floor to ceiling with gravest books, 
presided over by bronze busts of Galen and Hippocrates, Apollo 
and Hygieia — that chamber sacred to science and thought, 
chamber where completest peace had reigned in dull serenity 
till passion entered there. He sighed as he sat down by the 
table, where the volume he had been reading lay open under the 
shaded lamp. 

" Thank God she was not in the house ! " he said to himself. 
" That man's presence poisons the atmosphere. I'm glad I 
defied him. He is just the kind of scoundrel to revenge himself 
at the cost of his own chances, I verily believe ; yet I think I 
had rather the worst should come than go on holding my peace 
at his mercy. The position was too pitiful. I feel myself a 
man again, now that I have defied him." 

Then after a pause of deepest thought, he said : 

" Let the worst come, I have been entirely happy. There is 
something in that. Is the remembrance of departed joy a 
sorrow's crown of sorrow? I say no. Across the bleakest 
desert life knows that unforgotten golden land of joy shines like 
the lights of a distant haven across the barren sea. I am con- 
tent to die, having been so utterly happy. I have said to the 
moment, ' Tarry, thou art so fair ! ' Then let the bell of doom 
sound. Let the last hour strike. I have lived long enough. I 
have had my day. I can afford to say with Othello : 

* If it were now to die, 
'Twere now to be moat happy.' " 

He lifted his head from its drooping attitude, and his face 
was lighted with a gloomy joy. 

" And if he goes to my love, and tells his story — tells it in his 
own lying fashion — will she believe him, against her experience 
of me ? Will all I have ever been to her pass out of her mind 
in a moment, and only resentment remain ? Will all my love 
for her be too little to set against a stranger's slander ? Will 
her foolish fancy for that dead man rise up against me, strong 
as in the first hour of her sorrow for his loss ? Who can reckon 
the impulses of a woman's heart ? Hers is pure and true and 
good, but would the affection I have kindled there survive the 
knowledge of the truth ? Would she cleave to me, sinner as I 
am, and forgive me, as Mary Magdalen was forgiven — because I 
have loved much P Who can tell ? At the worst I am glad I 
brought matters to an issue. I can tolerate that man as a pen- 
sioner, but I will not endure him as a persecutor." 



276 Lost for Love. 

Dr. Ollivant was to sleep in Wimpole- street that night. He 
had only returned that afternoon from the North of England, 
whither he had flown, as fast as express trains could convey 
him, to attend a noble patient. There was time enough yet, at 
half-past eleven, for him to catch the midnight train to Tedding - 
ton ; but he was not expected there, and it was wiser perhaps to 
avoid seeing Flora until there had been time for him to recover 
completely from the agitation of that interview with Mr. Gur- 
ner. So much as he yearned to see the fair young face, to look 
into the innocent eyes and find hope and comfort and promise of 
fidelity there, he stayed in the quiet old London house, and sat 
late into the night reading, knowing how little hope of peaceful 
slumber there was for him that night. 

The clear cold light of earliest morning — a sunless solemn 
light, like the light of some unknown world — looked in upon 
him from the open windows of the staircase as he went up to 
his room, calmer in mind and less expectant of evil than he had 
been some hours ago. 

"After all," he said to himself, "the chances against that 
man betraying me are a hundred to one. He has everything to 
gain by silence. The sacrifice of the pension I offered him 
would be too costly an indulgence of malice." 



Lost for Love. 277 



CHAPTER XXX. 



" Je ne sais pas au fond de quelle pyramide 
De bouteilles de vin, au cceur de qnel broe vide 
S'est cache 1 le demon qui doit me griser, mais 
Je desespere encore de le trouver jamais." 

Late as it was when he left Wimpole-street, Jarred Gurner 
fulfilled his intention of making a second call at Mr. Johury's, 
mnch to the indignation of Mrs. Jobury, who had retired to 
rest, and was thns deprived of the satisfaction of giving Mr. 
Gnrner what she called a piece of her mind, or in other words, 
a copious statement of her sentiments upon the subject of a 
gentleman who worried his friend at an hour when decent 
people should be in bed and asleep, and whose society was, 
moreover, at all times eminently injurious and disadvantageous 
to that friend — who had furthermore borrowed money from 
that friend, and forgotten to repay it — conduct unworthy of any 
person calling himself a gentleman, and so on. This jobation, 
delivered in a shrill soprano, and perhaps culminating in hys- 
terics, Mr. Gurner happily escaped through the circumstance of 
Mrs. Jobury having put her hair in papers and attired herself 
in her night-rail. 

Mr. Joseph Jobury — familiarly known to his friends as Joe 
Jobury — was smoking a final pipe after a savoury supper of 
lamb's-fry, cream cheese, and spring onions, which bulbs lent 
their perfume to the small and somewhat stuffy parlour. But 
savagely as he had banished Mrs. Gurner's plate of shrimps, 
Jarred took no objection to Mr. Jobury's onions. He approached 
his friend with a radiant countenance, greeted him with hearty 
loudness, and seated himself in Mrs. Jobury's vacant chair with 
that agreeable freedom from ceremony which constitutes the 
chief charm of friendship. 

" How do, Joe P The missus told you I meant to look in 
again, I suppose ? " 

" Yes," replied the butcher, rubbing his bristly double chin 
dubiously, " Mrs. J. did say something about it." 

" Didn't like my coming so late, I fancy. Ladies are so par- 
ticular about trifles. The fact was, I wanted to see you upon a 



278 Lost for Love. 

small personal matter that couldn't be deferred. Going to the 
races to-morrow ? " 

" Well, yes, I did think of going." 

Mr. Jobnry had a receding chin, and an undecided manner 
which seemed to indicate a certain weakness of character. He 
was stout, florid, and sandy-haired ; had an inept smile, and 
was renowned among his acquaintance for good nature and a 
liberal table. Whatever brains he had had gone into horse- 
racing. Taken away from the turf his intellect was infantine. 
On the turf he was supposed to be a shining light amongst minor 
lights, and he had won a good deal of money, almost always 
winning where Jarred Gurner, who secretly despised him, con- 
trived, with amazing astuteness, to lose. As a butcher, Mr. 
Jobury was nowhere, the business being administered by Mrs. 
Jobury and the foreman. 

" 0, you're going, of course," said Jarred. " You wouldn't 
"lose such a day as to-morrow. I suppose you've got a seat to 
spare for an old friend in your trap ? " 

"Meaning yourself?" said Mr. Jobury, with evident embar- 
rassment. " Well, you see, the trap only holds two comfort- 
ably, and I believe the missus has rather set her heart upon 
going. She don't often get an outing, and the weather being 
nice and settled now, it's natural as she should look for a bit of 
pleasure." 

" Well, for my part, I've always thought women out of place 
on a racecourse. They haven't any business there ; and I 
can't understand how they can find any pleasure there in being 
pushed about and feeling themselves in everybody's way. But 
of course, if Mrs. Jobury has a fancy for going, and if she can 
reconcile her mind to the amount of bad language she's likely 
to hear on the road home, and the chances of a fight at Brent- 
ford turnpike, it wouldn't become me to advise her against it. 
the trap will hold four pretty near as well as it will hold two, 
and I don't mind a back seat." 

Poor Mr. Jobury's countenance expressed extreme perplexity. 
He had promised his wife that he would have neither act nor 
part in taking Mr. Gurner to the races ; but Mr. Jobury had 
acquired his name for good-fellowship from a constitutional 
inability to say no at the right moment. He could not deny 
that his tax-cart would hold four, for Jarred had ridden in that 
vehicle, and knew its capabilities as well as its proprietor. He 
had not quickness or presence of mind enough to invent any 
prior engagement : so he was fain to say yes, Jarred should go 
— even if the missus took objection to his presence and turned 
" rusty " and stayed at home. 

" I should be the last to interfere with a lady's pleasure," said 



Lost for Love. 279 

Jarred, radiant at having gained his point ; " but upon my word 
she'll be better out of it. What enjoyment can it be to a woman 
to be grilled by a hot sun on a dusty high road ? A man can 
rough it ; but home is the proper sphere for a woman, and the 
closer she sticks to it the better the world appreciates her." 

This question agreeably settled, the two gentlemen discussed 
the chances of the morrow, or rather the day, for the midnight 
hour had sounded from the American clock in Mr. Jobury's 
adjacent kitchen, over a friendly glass of gin-and-water, and 
then Jarred Gurner went back to Voysey-street, hopeful, nay, 
even confident, though the horses which carried his fortunes 
were not the horses of Mr. Jobury's choice. 

The day began auspiciously with warm sunshine and a light 
west wind, and those to whom Hampton races meant no more 
than a summer holiday, a pleasant drive along suburban roads, 
where the roses and seringa were abloom in neat villa gardens, 
and the scent of the limes still lingered in the air; through 
Bushey's stately chestnut groves, and the royal village of 
Hampton Court, past the old-fashioned green, and the grave 
old red-brick houses, and the barracks, whence come the cheer- 
ful notes of the cornet ; along the rustic road and by the bright 
river — those to whom Hampton races meant pleasure, and not 
speculation, began the day with hearts as glad as Romeo's when 
he cried : 

" My bosom's lord sits lightly in his throne." 

Not so did Jarred begin the day. Sleep had been an alien 
from his pillow through the night-hours. He had found no 
appetite for his morning rasher. The sporting contributor to 
the Daily Telegraph prophesied against his horses. The hope- 
fulness inspired by his last glass of gin-and-water had departed 
during those tedious night-hours. Carking care consumed him 
as he walked to Mr. Jobury's dwelling, before which the tax-cart 
stood ready, — horse, harness, and vehicle alike lustrous from 
careful cleaning, and a rug, lined with a florid checked material, 
orange and purple, flung gracefully across the back of the seat. 

Mr. Jobury, though attired in a new suit of gray tweed, a 
blue tie, and a white hat, did not look cheerful, Mrs. Jobury 
having resented his weakness of character by an acute attack 
of sulks, which had rendered the breakfast hour far from har- 
monious. There was the prospect of his return home, too, 
looming in the distance, when sulks might give place to hysteria 
and the more demonstrative forms of feminine displeasure. 
Altogether Mr. Jobury felt that he entered upon the day's 
delights heavily weighted. Fate, the great handicapper, had 
been hard upon him. 



280 Lost for Love. 

_ Thus it happened that both gentlemen sat in thoughtful 
silence as they drove along the Oxford-road, past the tall 
palaces of the Lancastrian gate, onward to the woods of Hol- 
land and the scaffolding of new villas, shooting off at a tangent 
over against Shepherd's Bush, and on towards Hammersmith- 
bridge and the rustic simplicity of Barnes, through classic Rich- 
mond, again across the silver Thames, and to that lovely spot 
which Horace Walpole called the " county of Twits," past that 
verdant corner where the wit built his toyshop chateau, which a 
lady's purer taste and larger means have transformed and per- 
fected, on to the glades of Bushey. Even the brilliant perform- 
ance of Titmouse, Mr. Jobury's thoroughbred mare, descended 
from some fifth-rate racing celebrity, hardly evoked a fair meed 
of praise from either of the gentlemen who sat behind her. 

They brightened a little, however, as they approached the 
course, and once arrived on that arena, grew animated enough, 
and so far recovered their spirits as to be able to do justice 
to the contents of a picnic-basket which Mrs. Jobury had pre- 
pared in the innocence of her heart on the previous day. A 
choice shoulder of lamb, with mint-sauce carefully provided in 
a soda-water bottle, a slice of stilton, a crusty twopenny cottage, 
and a handful of tender young onions, the slim firstlings of the 
onion tribe, were not unwelcome to the appetites of gentlemen 
who had breakfasted ill. 

" I haven't eaten such a meal for the last three weeks," ex- 
claimed Jarred, as he washed down the last crumb of cheese 
with a deep draught of Guinness. 

" ' Why, so ;— being gone, I am a man again.'" 

Jarred's satisfaction was doomed to be brief. The horse he 
had backed for the next race ran anyhow, or nohow, as Mr. 
Jobury said. It was lucky for Jarred that the people to whom he 
had lost money were personal friends, and would be willing to 
wait a day or so for settlement. The day's results were alto- 
gether against him, and the last race left him as completely 
ruined as a man can be who has very little to lose. 

Each disappointment had deepened his gloom. He had drunk 
deeply, taking all that Mr. Jobury offered him in the way of 
refreshment, and Mr. Jobury, winning steadily in his petti- 
fogging way, was inclined to be generous. 

" Have another b.-and-s., and keep up your spirits, old fellow," 
he said every now and then, compassionating that white look 
of angry despair which had settled upon Jarred's swarthy face. 
But neither bottled stout nor soda-and-brandy^ were potent 
enough to bring Jarred forgetfulness of his vexations. Intoxi- 



Lost for Love. 281 

cation would have been a relief, but today strong liquors 
heated his brain and soured his temper instead of making him 
gay and reckless. II avait le vin triste. 

When Titmouse had been put in the shafts and the worthy 
batcher was ready to depart, Mr. Gurner announced his inten- 
tion of returning later, and by rail. 

" Lend me a couple of shillings for my ticket, Joe," he said. 
" I've a little bit of business to settle down this way, and I'll go 
back by train. You may as well make it a crown, by the bye, 
against contingencies. It won't hurt you if you never see the 
money again, after your luck to-day." 

" I didn't know you had any friends down this way," remarked 
Jobury, handing Jarred the money. 

" Ah, you see, I've a larger circle of acquaintance than you 
gave me credit for. But it's a matter of business, not friend- 
ship, that keeps me down here. There, Titmouse is fidgety. 
Ta-ta, old fellow." 

Mr. Jobury gave the restless Titmouse her head, and drove off 
at a rattling pace, startling the crowd through which he cut his 
way, and vanishing in a white cloud of dust. Jarred took no 
pains to watch his departure, but turned from the bustle of the 
racecourse with a darkling countenance, and strolled with heavy 
laggard steps towards the bridge. Away from the crowd and 
heat and turmoil of the racecourse, that June eventide was fair 
enough to have soothed the vexed in spirit. The sun had been 
shining with his fullest power all day, asserting his might a little 
too potently for some people, as evidenced by the broiled or melted 
appearance of the pleasure-seekers who had exposed themselves 
to his too ardent rays for the last six or eight hours. But now 
the day-god's car sloped westward, and a mellow radiance lay 
upon the land, transforming yonder patch of river, gleaming 
through rush and alder, into molten gold. There was warmth 
still, but a genial warmth, tempered by cool breezes that bore 
the freshness of running waters in their soothing breath. If 
anything could have made Jarred Gurner comfortable in his 
mind it might have been that change from the broiling heat of 
day to the balmy atmosphere of evening, from the press and 
riot of the racecourse to the seclusion of that meadow path by 
which he took his way towards the river. 

His mind was all bitterness, but it happened strangely that 
he was less bitter against destiny for having disappointed him 
to-day than against Dr. Ollivant for having disappointed him 
last night. If he had had a ten-pound note in his pocket, hia 
losses, amounting in all to six or seven pounds, might have been 
endured with comparative stoicism. But that one accessible 
iource of relief having failed him, he saw ruin imminent. The 



282 Lost for Love. 

gentlemen with whom he had dealings entertained no exalted 
views upon the point of honour, but they expected to be paid, 
and would be merciless towards the man who should essay to 
cheat them. The name of " welsher " was an unpleasant dis- 
tinction, and one that must bar the working of future problems 
in the mathematics of the turf. 

A free indulgence in bottled stout and brandy-and-soda under 
a burning sun had neither softened Mr. Gurner' s temper aar 
developed his prudence. 

" Ten pounds a quarter !" he said to himself, with ineffable 
scorn; "ten pounds a quarter, and I am to keep my distance, 
and be grateful for his generosity ! Why, the young woman he 
married brought him sixty thousand down on the nail, and half 
a dozen words from me would have stopped the marriage — yes, 
at the church- door. And I knew that, and held my tongue, and 
now he refuses me a ten-pound note to get me out of a scrape. 
Does he take me for a worm, and think he can trample on me 
with impunity ? " 

Mr. Gurner decapitated a tall cluster of nettles with a swirl of 
his cane, in very scorn at the question. What he was to do he 
had in no wise determined, but he was fully resolved upon des- 
perate measures. Dr. Ollivant had forbidden him to reappear 
in Wimpole-street. Good. He would invade that more remote 
and sacred domicile at Teddington. Dr. Ollivant had refused 
to accord him any farther hearing. So be it. He would be 
heard by Dr. Ollivant's wife. 

" Teddington — that's somewhere down the river," mused Mr. 
Gurner. " I've heard of Teddington Lock. And his house is 
pretty sure to be by the river-side, for that's the pleasantest 
situation, and he's rich enough to indulge himself with the best 
of everything — thanks to her money on to the back of his own. 
Let me see now. My best way will be to get a boatman to row 
me down." 

He had walked to Hampton- Court-bridge by this time, and 
here he made a bargain with a waterman to row him as far as 
Teddington for a couple of shillings. 

It was between seven and eight o'clock when the wherry 
containing Mr. Gurner and his fortunes glided past the quiet 
gardens of the old Dutch palace — those chestnut groves where 
his daughter had spent the one bright day of her girlhood. He 
passed, unheeding and unknowing, by the little inn at Thames 
Ditton where Loo and the painter had lingered over their one 
tete-a-tete dinner, the rustic garden where Walter Leyburne had 
thought out the situation and decided against unreasoning love 
and Loo. 

" You don't happeD to know the name of Ollivant down 



Lost for Love. 283 

yonder below the bridge, do you P " asked Jarred, as they 
passed Kingston. 

" Yes, I do," answered the boatman, who was a sharp young 
fellow. "Red-brick house, near Teddington Lock. They haven't 
been there long. Gentleman's something in the medical line, I 
believe. I've seen him and his wife on the water times and often. 
She's a good deal younger than the gentleman." 

" Yes ; those are the people I want to see. The garden goes 
down to the river, I suppose P" 

" Right down. They've got a landing-stage and a boathouse." 

" That's the ticket. You may row me down there as fast as 
you like." 

" Shall I find her alone," wondered Jarred, " or will he be 
with her ? He was in town last night, but that's no reason he 
shouldn't be down here this evening. I should like to have her 
all to myself for one quiet half- hour, and tell her my own story 
in plain English." 

Destiny, all day so adverse, favoured this desire of Mr. Gur- 
ner's. The boat shot abreast of Dr. Ollivant's villa by-and-by, 
and Jarred, in his own phrase, took stock of the place. It wore 
that look of sleek and smug prosperity which is, of all aspects 
that wealth can assume, the most aggravating to the vagabond 
mind. It was an old house — substantially built and simple of 
design — a house whose colouring time had mellowed to a som- 
bre depth of hue, a house well covered with climbing roses and 
a wide- spreading wistaria. The long French windows were all 
open, affording cheerful glimpses of brightness and colour in the 
interior ; the old-fashioned conservatory, which formed one wing 
of the house, revealed its wealth of orange-trees and camellias. 

aSTever was grass more carefully shorn than the lawn that 
sloped to the smilling river ; never cedar of Lebanon grander 
than the fine old tree which sheltered one angle of that lawn ; 
never tresses of willow more luxuriant than those which dipped 
into the stream beside Dr. Ollivant's landing-stage. A lady 
clad in white was sitting on a rustic bench under the cedar, a 
table before her with books and work strewed carelessly upon it. 
She was alone, and reading, her elbow on the table, her head 
bent a little, her eyes intent upon her book. 

" There you are, my pretty one," Jarred said to himself, as he 
scanned the scene from mid-stream, " and all by yourself too. 
Nothing could be more convenient. And now, Dr. Ollivant 
we'll see who's master of the situation — you or I." 



284 Lost for Love. 



CHAPTER XXXI. 

" At me ! I fell ; and yet do question make 
What I should do again for such a sake." 

" Land me at those steps," said Jarred Gurner to the waterman, 
handing him a florin. 

The waterman obeyed, somewhat surprised that a person of 
Mr. Gurner's calibre should be a visitor at that superior-looking 
villa. He brought his boat close up to the steps. 

" Shall I wait for you, sir ? " 

" Well, yes, perhaps you'd better. I sha'n't be above half an 
hour, I daresay, and you can land me near the railway station." 

The landing-stage was some distance from the cedar. Mr. 
Gurner stepped lightly on shore, looked round the garden, and 
then approached the spot where Flora sat reading. So far as 
his keen gaze could discover she was the only occupant of the 
garden. As he drew near her, he heard voices and laughter 
from one of the open windows — subdued gentleman-like mirth, 
not the strident peals he had been used to hear in the skittle- 
ground. 

He went close up to the little table under the cedar, noiseless 
of foot as serpent or adder. 

" Mrs. Ollivant," he said gently. 

He had a pretty clear idea of what he was doing; all the 
alcohol he had absorbed not having been strong enough to 
cloud his brain. He knew he was playing a desperate game, 
perhaps about to throw away fortune for the sake of a petty 
revenge — a revenge which would taste sweet to him for the 
moment, but which would not stand by him like the annuity 
he pretended to despise. But there was just the chance that 
he might not be allowed to speak, that he might be bought 
off at the last moment. This was what he desired and hoped. 
He was here to show that he was prepared for desperate mea- 
sures, that what he had threatened last night in Wimpole-street 
he was ready to perform. He was here to measure his strength 
with Dr. Ollivant. 

Flora rose with a startled look. 

"I — I beg your pardon," she said; "are you a friend of my 
tusband's?" 



Lost for Love. 285 

" Your husband and I have had business relations. He is at 
home, I believe?" 

" Yes, he is in the dining-room with a friend. Do you wish 
to see him ? " 

" Well, yes, presently. But I should like to have a few words 
with you first, Mrs. Ollivant, if you've no objection," said Jarred, 
dropping into a rustic seat close at hand. . " I'm a stranger to 
you, I'm aware; but you hardly seem a stranger to me. Oar 
mutual friend Mr. Leyburne used to talk about you so often." 

The delicate cheeks paled suddenly, a distressed look came 
into the sweet face. Flora took up her work, some trifle of lace 
and muslin, and began to busy herself with it nervously. 

" Did you know Mr. Leyburne? " she asked. 

" Intimately. I don't pretend for a moment that my position 
in life was on a level with his. He painted pictures that didn't 
sell — I earn my living by cleaning other people's pictures. But 
he was good enough to treat me as a friend, and I valued his 
friendship. It was a sad day for me when he met with his 
death." 

"Indeed!" 

She would not encourage this somewhat disreputable-looking 
stranger to talk of her dead lover by so much as another ques- 
tion. Her heart was beating painfully: the bitter waters of 
memory were stirred. She would hardly have supposed the 
mere mention of the dead could have caused her so keen a pang. 
She had lived her new life in a new world, and been happy. 
She had new affections, new hopes, new duties, new obligations. 
Yet at a word the unforgotten past came back with sharpest 
pain. 

" Curious thing, rather, his death, wasn't it P " asked Jarred, 
looking at her searchingly. 

"It was a very dreadful thing," she said. "I would rather not 
talk of it, if you please. No good can come of recalling past 
sorrow." 

"Ah, that's the way of the world — out of sight, out of mind. 
We save ourselves the trouble of grieving for our friends by 
trying our hardest to forget them. The dead don't rot in their 
graves so soon as in our hearts. Well, for my part, I can't 
forget that poor young fellow — carried off in such a mysterious 
way. However, it was a lucky stroke for Dr. Ollivant, since I 
don't suppose yon would have thrown over poor young Leyburne 
to marry the doctor." 

" I will trouble you not to speculate about me," said Flora, 
rising ; " I think you are a very insolent person ! " 

" I'm sorry for that," said Jarred. " Perhaps when you know 
more about me you'll think differently. I am here to do you a 



286 Lost for Love. 

service. I want to say a few words to you in the presence of 
your husband. Would it be asking too much from you to step 
indoors and fetch him ? I'll wait here." 

Flora paused for a few moments with a puzzled look, and 
then obeyed the stranger. She felt helpless and alarmed in 
his presence: he was so different from any one she had ever 
encountered. 

"Who am I to say wants to see him?" she asked. 

" Mr. Gurner." 

She gave a little start, remembering the old woman in the 
purple satin gown — the woman who had spoiled her dream of 
first love. 

" The name seems familiar to you," said Jarred 

" Yes, I have heard it before," she answered, leaving him. 

Dr. Ollivant and a brother doctor who had come down from 
town with him were lingering over their claret and strawberries, 
beguiled by some all-absorbing topic of a somewhat professional 
and esoteric character. 

" I was just coming out to you, darling," said Cuthbert, 
looking up as his wife entered through the open window. 
" Morley has determined to go back by the 8.50. I was only 
waiting to wish him good-bye — Why, Flora, how pale you are!" 

He rose and went over to her, scrutinising the pallid face 
with an anxious gaze. How often he had seen Death's mark 
upon white cheeks and lips with professional calmness, and the 
smallest change in her face moved him so deeply ! 

" My love, you have been sitting in the sun, or doing some- 
thing imprudent," he said; "let me give you a little wine." 

"Excuse my hurrying off," said the visitor, looking at his 
watch; "but time's up. Good-bye, Mrs. Ollivant; hope your 
headache will be better to-morrow. The weather's rather trying. 
Thanks for a charming afternoon. Good-bye, Ollivant!" 

He was gone, to the doctor's satisfaction. He had no thought 

1'ust now but for his wife. If his love for her and his care for 
ler could know increase, there was a reason now why both 
should be doubled. 

" Dearest," he said, " what is amiss P " 

" Nothing, dear ; or very little. There is a strange man here, 
on the lawn — he must have come by the river — who wants to 
see you — a Mr. Gurner." 

"He here?" 

" Now you are pale, Cuthbert ! " cried Flora, startled by his 
whitening face. 

" My love, we are doomed to pass through a struggle which 
may darken both our lives. I did not know it was so near. 
Stay, I'll go to this man alone. Go up-stairs, Flora, and he 



Lost for Love. 287 

down. It is only a business matter. There is nothing that 
need give you the slightest uneasiness." 

In that moment he had made up his mind to stave off the 
evil hour, to give the informer his price for his wife's sake. She 
was not strong enough to bear a great shock. He had not duly 
considered that last night, rot believing that Mr. Gurner meant 
to biing matters to a crisis. 

" I want to hear what that man has to say, Cuthbert," said 
Flora, with a resolute look that was new to her. " Let me hear 
all and know all. He has been talking to me in such a strange 
way. He has awakened doubts and suspicions that are worse 
than certainties. Let me know all — it will be best." 

" God knows what is best ! " replied her husband. " Come 
with me, if it must be so, and hear the worst, and judge be- 
tween me and my love." 

He drew her to him and kissed her with deeper passion than 
in his happiest hour of confidence and love — kissed her as one 
kisses for whom that kiss may be the last ; as Gretchen kissed 
Faust in the condemned cell ; as Bothwell kissed Mary Stuart 
when they parted at Carberry Hill. 

" Come," he said ; and they went together to the cedar, where 
Mr. Gurner sat waiting for them. He had lighted a cigar, one 
that had been given to him on the racecourse, but he tossed it 
away half-smoked as the doctor and his wife drew near. 

" Xow, Mr. Gurner, I have brought my wife to hear what you 
want from me," said Dr. Ollivant. 

" What do I want ? Money ! and a good round sum. I 
asked you for a ten-pound note last night, as between man and 
man. I want fifty to-night." 

"Do you? And on what ground shall I give you fifty 
pounds P You are not a particularly estimable person — not a 
man whose struggles with misfortune form a noble spectacle 
for the gods. What will my wife think if I give you fifty 
pounds ? " 

"I fancy her thoughts will come pretty near the truth; she 
will think that you would rather I held my tongue than spoke 
out." 

" I would rather you should speak out," pursued Dr. Ollivant, 
with that firm look of his, beneath which the lesser man always 
quailed. " My love," he said to Flora, " this man is going to 
make a statement that will shock and wound you deeply ; only 
be assured that what you hear from his lips will be but half 
truth. You shall hear the whole truth from mine afterwards." 

She trembled a little and drew closer to him. He put his arm 
round her, holding and sustaining her. How long, how long 
would she suffer his touch ? 0, pleasant days ! 0, life of 



2S8 jsost jor JLove. 

perfect joy ! He felt the delight of life slipping away from him 
yet could not be content to retain it any longer at this scoun- 
drel's sufferance. 

" When I spcke to you just now of your first lover, Mrs. 
Ollivant — of Walter Leyburne, my friend — I didn't tell you that 
I could have spared you all the suspense and uncertainty you 
suffered at the time of his death. You hoped, and waited, and 
prayed for his return, I daresay, for ever so long, not knowing 
for certain what had become of him." 

"I did— I did." 

Her pale lips shaped the words, but voice there was none. 

" I was a stranger to you and it wasn't my interest to speak 
out; but Dr. Ollivant could have spared you a good deal of 
pain — hope deferred, and that kind of thing — if he had chosen," 
pursued Jarred. 

She looked round at her husband, mutely questioning him. 

" Hear him to the end, love, and hear me afterwards." 

She drew herself away from him, and stood alone, and her 
husband knew that he was doubted. 

" He could have told you all about that unfortunate young 
man's death; but he was wise enough to hold his tongue. He 
thought that if you knew he had killed your first lover his own 
chances of winning you would have been rather weak." 

She gave a faint half-stifled cry, and put out her hand to keep 
her husband back. 

" Killed him ! " 

" Yes. When Mr. Leyburne took his afternoon stroll on the 
cliff that last day, ill-luck brought him across the path chosen 
by Dr. Ollivant. They began to talk — about you, I suppose — 
and soon came to high words. There was a scuffle, and poor 
Leyburne fell off the cliff. I won't say he was pushed off; but 
it looked rather like it to me." 

" You were there — you saw " 

" I was on the sands below — heard voices and quarrelling, and 
saw your lover fall. That is all." 

" And he,'' pointing to the doctor, " bribed you — paid you to 
keep this secret ? " 

" Well, yes, he has rewarded my discretion pretty well, up to 
last night. You won't believe my statement, perhaps; but if 
you want confirmation, look at him." 

Jarred pointed in his turn at the doctor, who stood like a 
rock, but with a face of deadliest pallor. 

" Go," he said to Jarred. " You have done your worst-, 
there is no more to be said. You came here by the river, I 
think. Be good enough to let me see you off my premises." 

There was nothing for Jarred to do but follow the doctor 



Lost for Love. 289 

to the landing-stage, where the gaily-painted wherry was wait- 
ing for him. He descended to his boat without a word, feeling 
that he had played rather a poor game after all. To the last he 
had expected Dr. Ollivant to surrender — to buy his silence at 
anv price when the crisis came. But the crisis was past, and 
Jarred felt that he had made a fool of himself. 

Cuthbert Ollivant went back to the cedar. His wife was 
standing just as he had left her, rigid, her eyes fixed on 
vacancy. 

" Hear my story now, Flora," he said pleadingly. 

She did not look at him as she answered, 

" How much am I to believe from so accomplished a de- 
ceiver ? " 

" Believe the simple truth. Walter Leyburne's death was 
purely accidental. No one, not even you" — with a touch of 
bitterness — " could regret it more than I did. True that our 
voices were heard in dispute ; true that we wrestled on the 
verge of that horrid cliff — 'twas he attacked me, remember — 
and that he fell on the slippery grass. The single blow I 
struck was in self-defence." 

" And it killed him," said Flora icily. 

The anguish of these moments had transformed her. She 
was no longer the gentle girlish wife he had known an hour 
ago. There was a slow bitterness in every accent that changed 
the very sound of her voice, a cold glitter in her eye that altered 
the very character of her beauty. So might Electra have 
looked, changed from her innocent girlhood by the horror of 
domestic murder. 

" That blow could have done no more than stun him, at 
worst ; the rest was accident." 

" Which you concealed as studiously as if it had been 
deliberate murder. And you let me wait, and you let me 
hope, and you let me wonder — knowing that he was dead, and 
that his death was your work." 

" False, cowardly, vile — was it not ? Find the worst name 
that you can for my crime; it will not be too bad. But remem- 
ber that all was done for love of you. I sinned, as I would sin 
again, for your love's sake. I could not shut myself out from 
all hope by telling you the truth. What chance would there 
nave been for me if I had been candid ? And this death- 
stroke of Fate, which I had not even desired, gave me my 
chance. I had always said to myself, ' Were he away I could 
win her.' How could I speak ? You would have hated me if 
you had known." 

" Perhaps," she answered, still without looking at him, " but 
not uo deeply as I hate you now. And that would have been an 

T 



290 Lost for Love. 

nnjust hatred. This is just and godly — hatred of a liar, hatred 
pf a coward." 

Hard words from one whom nature had made so gentle. The 
(bctor stood silent, wondering at her cruelty. Could that old 
love be so much, and all that had been since then so little? 
Was all his love for her — all their happiness, which for him 
meant so much — to weigh for nothing against the memory of 
that light fickle lover ? 

" Tou do not measure your words," he said with a new cold- 
ness, " I see that the old love was the stronger after all. Tou 
have heard the truth, as God hears and judges us. There was 
no desire in my heart to injure so much as a hair of his head ; 
but I could not let the manner of his death bar my road to 
happiness. I was willing to be a liar for your sake. Tor your 
sake I was a coward. Is that a reason you should hate me?" 

" It is," she answered ; and then went on with sudden tears : 
" My father blessed us on his death-bed — blessed us, and joined 
our hands in his dying hour. It pleased me to think that I 
was obeying his last wish when I married you. Do you think 
he would have put your hand in mine if he had known what I 
know now ? " 

" He rewarded my great love. "Would that love have seemed 
less to him if he had known my sin ? " 

" My father was an honourable man." 

" That will do, Flora. I see that the old love was strongest. 
All our days, and dreams, and hopes cannot weigh against the 
mere memory of that — no, not even that holiest bond which 
should make us one, although I were the greatest sinner upon 
earth. You despise me, you hate me. Your heart, so tender 
by nature, can find no pity for my guilt ; although I sinned 
for love of you, although I am lost for love of you. I never 
knew the meaning of the word sorrow till I knew you. I never 
knew what pain was till I loved you. I have given yon my 
peaceful days, my desires, my dreams — given you all God 
ever gave me of hope or joy. But these things cannot weigh 
against inclination. You loved Walter Leyburne; you have 
only endured me. It is an old story. Good-bye, my love ; I 
will torment you no more. This house shall be sacred to you 
henceforward. My mother shall stay here as your housekeeper 
and companion, if you will allow her; but my shadow shall 
darken your threshold no more." 

He took her hand, which she left passive in his grasp, pressed 
it to his lips, and let it fall. And so, without another word, he 
left her. A brief farewell; and yet, so far as he could see 
through the thick darkness of his future life, it was to be for 
ever. 



Lost for Love. 291 

He went into the house, found his mother, and sent her to 
Flora. There was nothing in his manner to alarm Mrs. Ollivant. 
He had recovered his self-command, looked at his time-table for 
the train that would convey him back to London, and left his 
house so quietly and deliberately, that no one who saw him 
depart that evening would have guessed that he was leaving 
his happiness behind him. 



CHAPTER XXXII. 

" O, is it thyself that I mourn, 
Or is it that dream of my heart 
Which glides from the reach of my scorn, 
And soars from the clay that thou art t " 

The bright midsummer days grew warmer. Thickets of bush 
roses, moss and cabbage and maiden's blush, that had been 
growing for half a century; rose-clad arches and trellised walks ; 
rank and file of standard, with all the latest achievements of 
the rose-grower — all were in their glory of bloom and colour in 
the gardens of the villa near Teddington Lock; but Flora's 
tranquil wedded life was over. It had vanished like a dream 
when one awakeneth. She told herself that it was best so, as 
she paced the rose-walks slowly, feeling a little less strength for 
that gentle walk day by day, or stood on the grassy bank above 
the river, looking dreamily down at the swift-flowing water. 
She told herself that there was no other way but life-long part- 
ing for her and Cuthbert Ollivant. 

Her first thought on that dreadful evening — her first thought 
when her brain cleared from the bewilderment of the shock — 
had been a longing for loneliness ; to find some solitary place, 
where no one would question or attempt to solace her pain. All 
that she had esteemed and loved had been suddenly reft from 
her. The man she had trusted was proved a liar. She did not 
believe Jarred Gurner's word against her husband's — she did 
not believe Cuthbert Ollivant to have been a murderer; but, on 



292 Lost for Love. 

his own confession, he had been concerned in Walter's death 
and had hidden his knowledge of the fact, and had deliberately 
lied to her. Never more could she respect or trust him ; never 
more could she look up to him with childlike reverential feeling, 
wondering what such a man could find to love in her. 

Since that night of torture she had been left in perfect peace. 
Mrs. Ollivant had been all kindness, but had asked no questions. 
She had been, perhaps, warned against interference with that 
silent grief. Life went on as smoothly, and almost as silently, 
as in one of those enchanted castles, set deep in the mysterious 
heart of a pathless forest, which abound in fairy lore. Nothing 
was changed, except that the doctor remained away. There was 
no longer the excitement of bidding him good-bye in the morning 
after driving him to the station in a pony-carriage, and of ex- 
pecting his return to dinner, when he brought back all the news 
of the day, and, as it were, the very spirit and zest of metro- 
politan life along with him. It was strange what a blank hia 
absence made in the house, and how everything seemed altered, 
where other change there was none. It was as if some one were 
lying dead in one of those empty rooms up-stairs. And yet 
Flora told herself it was best that it should be so ; that Dr. 
Ollivant had been infinitely wise in severing himself from her 
so promptly ; that union between them must henceforward be 
of all things the most impossible. She had told him in the 
passion of the moment that she hated him, and in her own 
mind she had not reversed the sentence. 

She recalled that miserable time at Branscomb, the dreary 
days that followed Walter's disappearance. She dwelt on 
every detail of those days with a morbid grief. How she had 
wondered — how she had waited — while he, who knew the truth, 
pretended to sympathise and to assist ; sent telegrams which he 
knew to be useless ; took counsel with Mark as to the best thing 
to be done ; kept up the pretence of ignorance with unabashed 
hypocrisy. Could she do less than hate him, remembering 
this? 

And yet, despite this loathing of his falsehood, and even 
hatred of himself as the very incarnation of falsehood, how 
cruelly she missed him ! how empty and purposeless her life 
seemed without him ! If she took up a book, and tried to lose 
herself in a world beyond her own petty circle of perplexities 
and regrets, she could but remember how her mind had been 
little more than a sheet of blank paper before Dr. Ollivant 
began to cultivate it; how much he had taught her; how 
infinitely he had widened her possibilities of happiness ; how 
patient, how careful, how tenderly indulgent he had been 
through all the cloudless days of her wedded life ; exacting so 



Lost for Love. 293 

little, giving so much ; humble, and taking her love as a 
boon. 

But he had been so vile a sinner — for her sake — that it was 
impossible she could ever think of him again save with scorn 
and abhorrence. 

" What did he gain by all that deceit ? " she asked herself. 
" What did he gain by degrading himself so deeply. Only mc." 

She wondered at her own worthlessness, which to this man 
had been above all price, even above the cost of honour and 
truth. She pitied him for having bartered so rich a pearl for 
auch tinsel. 

" There are hundreds of women in London prettier and more 
agreeable than I am ; and yet for my sake — just to win such a 
foolish girl for his wife — he was content to sink so low ! " 

The enigma puzzled her, and she pitied him a little for having 
been so foolish. 

Mrs. Ollivant behaved admirably. Her son had written her a 
long letter, but had explained nothing. A misunderstanding 
had arisen between him and Flora, he told her, which would, he 
hoped, be temporary ; nothing that his mother or any one else 
could do or say would alter the state of the case, he added, fore- 
seeing intervention and worry ; events must take their course. 
He begged his mother to stay at Teddington, and do all in her 
power to make his dear wife's existence happy, trusting to Pro- 
vidence for a happy issue out of present perplexities. He went 
on to give careful and business-like instructions for the carrying 
on of affairs at the villa, with a thoughtfulness that was almost 
woman-like. 

Dull, empty days. The summer roses bloomed and withered,, 
and all the grass was strewn with petals ; but Flora, whose 
delight it had been to gather and arrange them, left bowls and 
vases empty, and suffered the flowers to die ungathered; until 
Mrs. Ollivant came to the rescue, and made a daily raid, in sl 
strictly business-like manner, with big garden-scissors and capa- 
cious basket. That tranquil repose and silence of the house 
became beyond measure melancholy. There were sunlight and 
warmth and flowers and brightness and colour throughout the 
rooms, and the garden and glancing river outside the windows, 
but voices and laughter were mute ; for the occasional speech of 
thi two ladies seemed hardly to stir the silence. When she waa 
not roaming listlessly in the garden, Flora spent her hours on a 
sofa reading ; or musing, with her eyes fixed upon one particular 
patch of carpet or wall. 

There was a restraint between the two women, truly as they 
loved each other. In all their conversations each feared to touch; 
6ome perilous point, and thus their talk became of necsssity 



294 Lost for Love. 

studied commonplace. Every day Flora grew more languid, 
and less inclined for even these poor little intervals of talk. 
The local surgeon whom Dr. Ollivant had intrusted with the 
care of his wife's health — an elderly man, of good standing in 
his profession — opined that this languor and lowness of spirits 
were only natural — to be expected at such a time. 

"I wish Dr. Ollivant could give you more of his society," said 
the surgeon, Mr. Chalfont, in his cheerful tone ; " that would 
brighten you a little, no doubt. But of course, with his exten- 
sive practice, it is impossible ; a man in his position is the slave 
of his own reputation." 

Mr. Chalfont was completely ignorant of the fact that Dr. 
Ollivant had ceased altogether to come to the Willows. 

One day he gently reproved his patient on account of certain 
red circles which disfigured her pretty eyes. 

" I am very much afraid we have been crying," he said with 
a shocked air. " Now, really this will not do. Mrs. Ollivant " 
— appealing to the elder lady — " you must not allow this. 
Tranquillity of mind just now is most essential; and, sur- 
rounded as we are by all that can render life happy, why should 
there be any tears ? We must go out more ; we must get more 
fresh air.'' 

Flora promised, with a pathetic little smile, that there should 
be no more tears. 

" I wish to obey you," she faltered, " for — for the sake of " 

And here broke into a sob that alarmed the family doctor. 

For whose sake — for whom had she to live, what charm, 
or hope, or pride, or glory, could life hold for her hence- 
forward ? 

" Hysterical," murmured Mr. Chalfont. 

He prescribed for the hysteria, and sent his patient one of 
those mild solutions of ether or ammonia which are supposed 
to regulate the throb of foolish hearts, and tranquillise the 
pulses fluttered by a mind ill at ease ; the sort of anodyne 
which, in a more advanced stage of civilisation, Shakespeare's 
physician would have insisted upon sending to Macbeth by way 
of practical reply to the usurper's famous question. 

A week later Dr. Ollivant received a telegram early one 
morning from his faithful friend at Teddington. 

Providence had permitted him to be a father only for one 
brief hour. The eyes of his infant son had opened on life's 
bleak morning for so brief a span that the father was unable to 
see their brightness. All had happened prematurely, and in the 
dead of night. His wife lived, but was very weak, the telegram 
informed him. 

He was at the Willows as soon as cab and train could convey 



Lost for Love. 295 

him there. He stood in the darkened chamber, with its summer 
coolness and perfume of many roses, bending over the little 
waxen form of his first-born, his mother beside him, weeping 
their mutual blighted hopes. 

" I should have been so fond of him, so proud of him, 
Cuthbert ; and he was so like you," sobbed the disappointed 
grandmother. 

Dr. Ollivant smiled ever so faintly. There was little in that 
baby-face, so pale and flower-like — a snowdrop half unfolded — 
to recall the stern mould of his own features. 

His wife's room was on the opposite side of the corridor, only 
a few paces distant, but there he dared not enter. She was very 
weak; there was no danger, Mr. Chalfont told him — he had 
brought down one of the most distinguished practitioners in 
London to confirm Mr. Chalfont's opinion — but the utmost care 
was needed. 

" Then I will not see her," said Dr. Ollivant. 

"But, my dear sir, surely your presence — a few consoling 
words from you " 

" Might cause undue agitation," interrupted Dr. Ollivant. 
"Does she seem much grieved by the loss of her child?" 

" Well, so far as I can discover from her manner, not acutely. 
She moaned a little when your mother told her of the infant's 
death, and murmured something indistinctly; but she has 
shed no tears for the poor little fellow. There seems a general 
depression of mind, rather than any passionate grief. As she 
recovers strength we must endeavour to cheer and rouse her. I 
am sorry to see you so deeply affected by your loss, my dear sir," 
added Mr. Chalfont, compassionating that look of fixed trouble 
in the doctor's face — a certain hopeless look not to be mistaken. 

" Yes, it is a great disappointment. My poor little boy ! It 
would have been sweet to me to work for him, to think of him 
in my loneliest hours. My son ! It is hard to say those words 
only of the dead. My son ! " 

He stayed at the Willows all that day and all night, but 
took care that Flora should be ignorant of his presence. All 
night he sat alone in the room adjoining that solemn chamber 
where his dead child lay ; and once in the dead of the night, 
and once in the faint gray of the early morning, he went in and 
.Lielt by the little bed. 

"I accept thy chastisement of my sin, O Lord," he said; 
"but let not the burden of my wrong-doing fall upon my 
innocent wife ! " 

Never perhaps in all his life had he made so direct an appeal 
to his Creator and Judge ; never before had prayer so earnest, so 
utterly sincere, gone forth from those worldly lips. 



296 Lost for Love. 

He received the blow that had fallen upon him in all humility, 
but the stroke was not the less heavy. He had counted upon 
winning his child's affections in the days to come, although he 
might never regain the love of his wife. The child would be a 
link between them, even though he, the husband, remained 
hateful in Flora's eyes; a tie that must n;3eds draw them 
together sometimes, though their looks and words might be cold 
■when they met. 

For more than a week Flora's state was precarious, and in 
all that time Dr. Ollivant came to and fro, spending every hour 
that he could spare from his professional duties at the Willows ; 
resting little, full of anxiety and care, watchful of nurses and 
doctor, but never entering his wife's room. When she had 
taken a fortunate turn, and was progressing entirely to Mr. 
Chalfont's satisfaction, Dr. Ollivant went back to Wimpole- 
street for good, as hopeless as a man can well be and yet bear 
the burden of life. 

Flora came slowly back to life and care. She had been only 
half conscious of existence during her illness ; too weak for grief, 
almost too weak for memory. Eeturning strength brought a 
renewal of her woes. Again she recalled the past, and brooded 
over her sorrow and her wrongs, and thought of her murdered 
lover — it was thus she called him in her heart, although she had 
never doubted her husband's version of the story. That acci- 
dent, in her mind, was murder. If those two had never quarrelled, 
if there had been no lurking hatred of Walter in the doctor's 
mind, that accident would not have happened. Evil feeling had 
been the root of all. 

But deeply as she deplored her first lover's hard fate — 
cut off untimely in the blossom of his days — robbed of fame 
and all bright things that earth can giye — and earth, although 
roundly abused in a general way, has a good many pleasant 
things to bestow — deeply as she lamented the cruel fate of 
genius and youth, her keenest anguish was the knowledge of 
her husband's dishonour. She had thought him so_ good and 
great, so high above her girlish weakness ; and by this one base 
deception — not the sin of a moment, but the sustained lie of 
years — he had placed himself in the dust under her feet, had 
by this one great treachery made all his other virtues worthless. 
All that he had been to her meant nothing now. He was taken 
out of her life and her memory. There was no such man upon 
earth as that Cuthbert Ollivant she had revered and loved; 
not with the girlish unreasoning devotion she gave the young 
painter, born of a girl's day-dreams and fancies, but with a 
woman's riper and holier affection 



Lost for Love. 297 

Health returned, and strength in moderate measure ; hut there 
was a lack of that vitality which was to he expected in so young 
a patient. Mr. Chalfont attributed this joyless languor to grief 
for the baby's death, and came to the conclusion that change of 
air and scene would be beneficial to Flora. 

"A month or six weeks at the seaside," he suggested; "in 
some nice bracing air — Bridlington or Scarborough." 

" I detest the seaside ! " said Flora petulantly. That sweet- 
ness of temper which had been one of her chief graces was 
not always to be counted upon now. She was fretful and 
impatient at times, impatient even of kindness when it was 
inopportune. 

" You are tired of some watei - ing-places, perhaps," persevered 
Mr. Chalfont; " but you would be interested in a place that was 
quite new to you. The Yorkshire coast, for instance." 

" Yorkshire ! " ejaculated Flora ; " there is something hateful 
even in the name. It sounds cold and barren. I shiver at the 
very thought of it." 

" Now, really this is fanciful, my dear young lady, remon- 
strated the patient doctor ; " we'll say no more about Yorkshire, 
however. The grand point is that you should have change of 
scene." 

" I don't care for change of scene. I like the Willows better 
than any other place, or as well as any other place," replied the 
patient wearily. 

" It is only natural you should feel attached to such a de- 
lightful home. But for your health's sake I strongly advise — 
nay, with Dr. Ollivant's concurrence, I shall venture to order — 
a complete change of scene. If you don't like the idea of an 
English watering-place, suppose you were to go farther afield. 
To some German spa, for instance, or to the Swiss lakes."^ 

" I shouldn't care about going abroad," Flora answered in the 
same listless way, " and I don't think mamma would like to go 
so far ; would you, dear ? " with a gentle look at the patient 
mother-in-law. 

" My love, I would go anywhere for your good," said Mrs. 
OUivant. 

" mamma, that was said so like Cuthbert ! " 

The old name came unawares. For just one moment Flora 
had forgotten all save that the mother's devoted love was like 
the son's. She turned her head upon the sofa-pillows to hide 
her sudden tears. 

"Highly nervous," murmured the doctor, with a glance at 
the elder lady. " Suppose you leave everything to me, my dear 
lady," he went on blandly to Flora, " and I will contrive to 
have a little chat with your husband, and arrange matters, 



298 Lost for Love. 

subject to his advice. He is generally at home in the evening, 
I suppose ? " 

" Not just now," said Mrs. Ollivant, colouring ; " he is too 
busy." 

" Ah, the slave of his own greatness ! Well, in that case 
I will slip up to town and see him there." 

" Why should I go away, mamma, and cause you more care 
and trouble ? " asked Flora, when Mr. Chalfont had left them. 
" Why should I try to prolong a life which is useless to all the 
world and only a burden to myself? " 

" My dearest Flora, you know that to two people at least 
your life is a treasure above all price. Flora, why are you so 
foolish? What is the meaning of this estrangement between 
you and my son ? He has forbidden me to speak, but I think 
I have kept silence too long. I have been mistaken in my 
obedience to him. I see you unhappy. I know that he is most 
wretched. If you had seen him when you were ill " 

Mrs. Ollivant checked herself, but too late. The secret was 
out. Flora had raised herself from her pillows and was looking 
curiously at the speaker. 

"What, mamma? Did you see him while I was ill? He 
came here, then?" 

" He did, Flora ; but I was told not to mention his coming. 
He was here night and day till all peril was past." 

"But he would not see me. He kept his word. Mamma, 
you must never talk of him to m£ again. It is useless. We 
have bid each other an eternal farewell. Go back to him, if you. 
like. I have no right to divide mother and son. Let me go 
anywhere, mamma; I will live with any people Dr. Ollivant 
chooses for my guardians. I will obey him in all things." 

" But can you never be his happy wife again, Flora ? " 

"Never, mamma." 

" Try to remember how happy your life was before this miser- 
able estrangement." 

"Try to remember! Do you suppose I have ever for- 
gotten?" 

There was much more said, all to the same purpose; Mrs. 
Ollivant pleading eloquently. Was she not pleading for that 
which was most precious to her in this mortal life — her son's 
happiness? But she argued in vain. Flora answered with a 
sweet sad calmness. Of all impossible things there was nothing 
more impossible than reunion for these two. 

Mr. Chalfont called in Wimpole-street that evening. He 
found the doctor alone among his books in the vault-like con- 
sulting-room. The house had already fallen away from its 
perfect freshness and neatness, for lack of Mrs. Ollivant's vigi- 



Lost for Love. 299 

lant care. The geraniums in the hall-window looked seared and 
yellow ; there was dust on the shining hall-table ; the umbrella- 
stand was disfigured by a charwoman's bloated gingham. 

But the worst and most visible change was in Dr. Ollivant 
himself. He looked older by ten years than he had looked six 
months ago in the early spring, when he had been busy with 
the furnishing and improvements at the Willows. 

He started up from his desk at sight of the Teddington 
6urgeon, alarm in his look and gesture. 

" .My dear sir," cried Mr. Ohalfont, " I am no messenger of 
ill news. Our patient is going on very nicely. But I have 
come up to town in order to have half an hour's quiet chat with 
you. Upon my word, you appear more in need of my services 
than your sweet wife. You are looking far from well." 

" I am rather fagged," replied Dr. Ollivant carelessly. 

" Burning the candle at both ends, I fear." 

" Meaning the candle of life ? Well, I don't know that one 
need regret that, provided one makes a blaze. That double 
flame has its effect on one's generation, and if it doesn't last 
quite so long as the steadier light " 

He finished his sentence with a careless shrug of his shoulders. 
Mr. Chalfont, looking at him from a professional point of view, 
did not at all approve of his appearance. 

" You want rest, my dear sir," he murmured soothingly. 
" If yon could manage to take a holiday now, were it only for a 
week or two, and accompany your dear wife to some agreeable 
resort " 

" Impossible," said the other shortly. " But you came here 
to talk of my wife, not of me." 

Mr. Chalfont, thus called to order, stated his case plainly. 
His sweet young patient's health was decidedly improved, but 
there was still a want of vigour. The rebound was not what he 
had expected. She was evidently fretting for the loss of her 
infant. Natural, very, remarked Mr. Ohalfont from the philo- 
sophical standpoint of a man who had had to deplore the loss 
of a good many infants during his professional career, and did 
not find himself much the worse for that affliction. Change of 
scene was indispensable. 

" Let her go to whatever spot on earth is fairest in her 
fancy," said Mr. Ollivant. " My mother shall go with her, and 
all that forethought, care, and money can do shall be done to 
assure her comfort." 

Then followed a discussion as to where the patient should be 
taken, since, according to Mr. Chalfont's showing, she had 
no wish of her own — nay, was positively apathetic upon the 
eubject. 



300 Lost for Love. 

"Scotland," suggested the family doctor. "Too cold 
perhaps." 

" Decidedly too cold." 

" Nice, or Cannes." 

" Too warm." 

" Biarritz, the Pyrenees." 

" Too far. I could not bear to think of her so distant from 
me, unless it were her own especial wish." 

" She is entirely indifferent to locality. What do you say co 
Ireland?" 

" I suppose you mean Killarney ? " said Dr. Ollivant. 
" English people generally do when they talk about Ireland in 
the tourist's sense." 

" Certainly. Mrs. Chalfont and I spent a week there a few 
years ago, and we were charmed with all we saw. The scenery- 
is really something beyond description, and the cuisine of the 
hotel where we stayed was excellent. I don't think I ever 
enjoyed myself so much. The air is lovely — mild, pure, invigo- 
rating. I really feel inclined — always with your approval — to 
recommend Killarney." 

" Let her go to Killarney, then, if she likes." 

" If you could only contrive to accompany her," urged Mr. 
Chalfont. 

" Out of the question," replied the doctor wearily, as if he 
were annoyed at having the suggastion repeated. 



Lott for Love. 301 



CHAPTER XXXHI. 

" As there is much beast and som« devil in man, so is there some angel and 
some good in him." 

" The modern majesty consists in work. What a man can do is his greatest 
ornament, and he always consults his dignity by doing it." 

That satisfaction which unregenerate man derives from having 
given free indulgence to his evil passions, having poured the 
strong wine of vengeance into a cup and drunk the draught to 
the lees, is not a lasting content. The fiery flavour is pleasant 
enough for the moment, but the strength of the drink soon 
evaporates in the chilling atmosphere of reason. As to all com- 
moner orgies there comes the gray light of to-morrow's dawn, 
so to this drunkenness of angry passion comes also the morrow, 
•when the man who last night flung all his chances of advantage 
away for the brief rapture of revenge begins to reckon on con- 
sequences, and to consider whether he has not bought his 
triumph a little too dearly. 

Jarred Gurner went back to Voysey-street in every way a 
loser. 

" I've done it," he said to himself very often, pride sustaining 
him just for a little while against the sense of loss. " He didn't 
think it was in me, perhaps. I've done it. I've shown him 
that a man's a man for a' that, and a' that, and twice as mickle 
as a' that," muttered Mr. Gurner, snapping his fingers defiantly 
at the empty air. 

Then in his fine baritone voice — husky, but still a noble organ, 
he trolled out the bold defiant words : a brave man's defiance of 
adverse fate and an adverse world : 

" What though on hamely fare we dine, 
Wear hodden gray, and a' that ; 
Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine, 
A man's a man for a' that I 

For a' that, and a' that, 

Their tinsel show and a' that, 
The honest man, though e'er so poor. 

Is king o' men for a' that 1 " 

Voysey-street resounded with the full ripe tones of that voice, 
which might have made a better man's fortune. It was past 



302 JLost for Love. 

eleven, and the last beer had been fetched, and the public-houses 
were closing somewhat noisily, as Jarred returned to his domi- 
cile. He found his mother standing in the doorway, gazing 
dreamily into the street. 

" What, sitting up for me, old lady ? " he asked, with an air 
of jollity which was somewhat spuriosis. He wanted to per- 
suade himself that he was not sorry for the evening's work, that 
he did not think himself an abject blockhead ; and in this desire 
to stand well with himself he even went so far out of his way as 
to be civil to his mother. 

"Yes, Jarred; I felt a little low this evening. The weather 
was so warm, and the sunset was all gold and rose-colour over 
Cave-square ; it put into my mind the lives of people who enjoy 
themselves in nice country-places in such weather, and that 
made my life seem rather hard. Perhaps I give way more than 
I ought ; but if it's in one's nature to be sensitive it's difficult 
to fight against one's feelings. I hope you had a pleasant day, 
Jarred." 

" Not particularly pleasant. Perhaps if you knew the feelings 
of people who go out pleasuring, you wouldn't think it so hard 
to stay at home." 

His manner was kinder, his words were more frank, than 
usual. Mrs. Gurner felt absolutely cheered. 

" I thought perhaps you might come home hungry, and want 
a nice little bit of supper, Jarred," she said. " Oysters are out, 
but it isn't too late for me to get a lobster round the corner, 
and there's a lettuce on the stones in the scullery." 

" No, thank you, mother. I haven't appetite enough for a 
strawberry-ice. But I should like a glass of gin-and-water cold, 
if you happen to have a drop of spirit in the house." 

" Yes, Jarred ; there's a little gin in the cupboard ; I fetched 
it yesterday for my inside." 

" People generally do take it that way, don't they, mother, 
internally ? " 

" I mean that my inside was bad, Jarred, or I should not 
have partaken of any spirit," replied Mrs. Gurner with dignity. 

They went into the parlour, where a guttering tallow candle 
flared in the gloom. It did not look by any means as cheery 
or comfortable as the same room two or three years ago, in the 
winter-time, when the fire was blazing merrily, and Loo's dark 
eyes reflected the blaze. Jarred sat down wearily, giving him- 
self up to reflection, while his mother went to the tap to fetch 
a jug of cold water. 

Perhaps those words of the poet's had inspired him with a 
new sense of manliness, for at this moment he felt almost glad 
that he had destroyed his future chances of gain from Dr. 



Lost for Love. 303 

Ollivant. He had felt himself so debased, such a paltry creep- 
ing scoundrel, every time he approached his victim and advanced 
the spy's claim for hush-money. He had seemed to himself 
worse than the informers who go about after lawful hours 
obtaining beer from innocent publicans. 

Perhaps there is no depth to which a man can sink so low as to 
render him unconscious of his fall. The helpless victims who are 
born in social debasement, created in the night of poverty and 
degradation, may indeed be ignorant of their state; but the 
man who has known the light of education, who has fallen frov' 
something better, can he forget ? 

Just as Cuthbert Ollivant, even amidst his agony, had r« 
joiced at having shaken himself free from his persecutor, si 
Jarred Gurner, with ruin starting him in the face, felt somt. 
touch of pride, some sense of recovered manhood, in the know- 
ledge that he had flung away his chances of extorting money 
from the doctor. 

But ruin did stare him in the face, nevertheless, and Mr. 
Gurner awoke from the sensuous sloth of his later life, and came 
to the conclusion that he must work, and work his hardest, work 
against time, in order to pay the money he had lost on Hampton 
racecourse to-day. 

" If I could find that blessed Straduarius back," mused Jarred, 
scratching his head meditatively, as he thought of the violin 
lying in pieces up-stairs — violin for skilful manipulation of 
which he had been offered a five-pound note. " There's no swind- 
ling old Ahasuerus," he said to himself, thinking of his client, 
an ancient dealer in musical instruments in the neighbourhood 
of Leicester-square, who pretended to remember Corelli, and on 
this and other grounds was popularly supposed to be the Wan- 
dering Jew. " He knows every mark in the grain of that fiddle- 
back, I'll be bound. If I could only find it. People don't eat 
violin-backs ; it must be somewhere about the house, unless the 
second floor's children have got hold of it, and made it into a 
toy- cart or a battledoor." 

Stimulated to exertion by stern necessity, Mr. Gurner resolved 
upon hunting for the missing piece of wood early to-morrow 
morning. He drank a tumbler of weak gin-and-water, conversed 
with his mother quite sociably, and left that lady to the retire- 
ment of the back parlour and the press-bedstead, in a happier 
frame of mind than was her wont. 

He rose at ten next morning, which for his late habits was an 
early hour; and before indulging in the luxuries of toilet or 
breakfast, set to work, honestly and earnestly, to hunt for the 
Straduarius back. This quest involved the complete turning- 
out of his workshop, — all the dustar corners, the heaps of odds 



301 jjost for Love. 

and ends and accumulated rubbish on the piano, the bills and 
circulars and forgotten letters, and old cigar-boxes and cracked 
tobacco-jars, and oil-bottles and varnish-rags, and old boots laid 
aside because it was a doubtful question whether they were 
worth the cost of cobbler's work. 

" I wish I had Loo here to help me," he thought, as he pauseJ 
with a despairing glance at the chaos of rubbish which he had 
shifted from one place to another, without having introduced 
anything like order into the arrangement thereof. As with all 
domestic litter, there was much that he could not make up his 
mind to throw away. " No, I won't be so bad a father as to wish 
her back again, poor lass ! " he went on ; " she's better off where 
she is. But this place was never such a den in her time. And 
if the old lady attempts to put things square she's pretty sure to 
hide half of 'em. I daresay she's at the bottom of my losing 
that unlucky Straduarius." 

By-and-by, working with more patience than was usual with 
him, Mr. Gurner — like Herakles when he had turned the course 
of the rivers Alpheius and Peneius — began to see something like 
order around him. The useless varnish and oil-rags were thrown 
into a heap for burning ; the old boots were set out in a row for 
studious contemplation ; the cigar boxes were emptied of their 
odds and ends — old buttons, old steel pens, fragments of sealing- 
wax, broken wafers, shreds of tobacco ; the tatterdemalion books 
were set up on their shelf, looking like Falstaff 's ragged regiment. 

Jarred considered his morning's work with a sigh. It was 
something, perhaps, to have set his room to rights ; but he had 
lost all hope of ever finding the Straduarius back. 

" And yet I'll swear I never took it out of this room," he 
said to himself. "It must be those confounded brats up- 
stairs." 

It was his habit to lock the door of this sanctum and put the 
key in his pocket when he went out, now that Loo was no 
longer there to protect his belongings, but he occasionally 
omitted that precautionary measure. One of those children 
from the second floor must have crept in one day, on an ex- 
ploring expedition, and stolen the violin-back. 

He had questioned Mrs. Gurner closely as to her knowledge 
of the missing object, but upon this subject Mrs. Gurner's 
mind was a blank. 

" You ought to know that I never throw away a shred or a 
scrap of anything in your room, Jarred," she said reproach- 
fully. 

" Perhaps not, mother; but you might have poked it away 
into some corner." 

Now, however, the corners had all been turned out, and 



Lost for Love. 305 

Jarred no longer cherished any hope that the Straduarius 
lurked among the dust and lumber of his apartment. 

He invoked something which was the reverse of a blessing on 
the unconscious heads of his lodger's children, and sat down, 
gloomy of aspect, the only ray of hope which had lighted his 
pathway quenched in darkness. 

" I could have finished the violin by Saturday night," he 
thought, " and Ahasuerus's fiver would have put all things 
square." 

He placed himself before the row of shabby boots, and began 
the task of inspection. His wardrobe was getting weak in this 
particular, and it had come to a question of soling and heeling. 
Foremost in the rank stood a pair of Wellingtons — boots of 
which Jarred had been proud in his time. True that Welling- 
tons have been left behind in the progress of fashion ; but, as 
Jarred was wont to remark, there was always something in 
a Wellington which made it superior to all other boots. He; 
looked at those tall and lordly boots despondently. They 
bulged a little at the sides, and too faithfully reproduced in a» 
permanent form all blemishes and faulty bosses in the foot of 
the wearer. They were boots of which Jarred could hardly feel 
proud, even though the souter's art might make them sound 
and weather-tight. 

" They'll pay for repair anyhow," he said to himself with, 
resignation, and took up one of the once-lovely boots. 

The toe hitched the loose top of the battered old piano, and 
half lifted it. 

" By Jove ! " ejaculated Jarred, " I never looked inside the 
piano." 

He had opened it in another instant — nay, dragged off the 
front, with its faded red-silk flutings and broken brasswork, as 
if he had been about to tune the instrument. Yes, there lay the 
S traduarius back, behind the rusty wires, just as it had fallen, 
most likely, when Mrs. G-urner cleaned the room — an operation 
she performed at long intervals, in concert with the girl. 

Jarred ran to the head of the stairs, and called over the 
balusters : 

" Send me up some strong tea and a rasher, mother ; and 
bring me a bundle of firewood to melt some glue. I'm going 
in for a long day's work." 

He felt more appetite than he had known for a long time — 
felt his strength and his manhood renewed. There is a whole- 
some flavour in honest work, which freshens even the mosti. 
faded spirits. 

He began his task at once with glues and varnishes and oils,, 
whistling to himself softly as be worked, and with the artist's' 



306 Lost for Love. 

pleasure in his art — not a very exalted art, perhaps, that of the 
violin doctor, and in somewise allied to chicanery, yet a kind of 
art notwithstanding. He was going to create something, were 
it only a spurious fiddle. 

Mrs. Gurner brought her son's breakfast with her own hands, 
proud and happy to wait upon him when he condescended to 
smile. 

" I've found the violin-back in that blessed old hurdy-gurdy," 
said Jarred, pointing to the superannuated instrument. " You 
must have dropped it in there some day when you were at your 
confounded cleaning." 

Mrs. Gurner protested that only " the girl " could have been 
capable of so stupid an act. "It's like her," she remarked; 
and Jarred said no more. 

" Tou can get me a bit of dinner by five o'clock, old lady," 
he said, doing justice to the rasher and poached egg. " I dare- 
say I shall have got up an appetite by that time." 

" I hope so, Jarred. It does my heart good to see you par- 
take of your food with a relish, and it seems like old times to 
see you at work here. Would you like a bit of roast lamb and 
half a peck of peas F — they're only just in, and young and tender." 

" What you like, mother. I haven't a sixpence to give you." 

" Never mind, Jarred ; I can get the lamb on trust at Sim- 
mons's." 

Mr. Gurner worked on indefatigably for four or five hours, 
whistling softly to himself as he laboured, pleased with his own 
skill. " This fiddle will be worth a hundred guineas to old 
Ahasuerus," he said, as he scraped and polished, and gave 
deeper tones to the colour of the wood. 

He ate his dinner with much enjoyment, praised his mother's 
cooking, and made himself generally agreeable. Even when 
he had smoked his after-dinner pipe, and Mrs. Gurner was 
prepared to see him take his departure, he still sat on. That 
delightful society he was wont to seek had just now lost its 
charm for him, since in the circle of his intimates he was likely 
to meet the men to whom he was indebted, and to a man of 
Mr. Gurner's fine mind a debt of honour was intolerable. He 
could have faced an angry water-rate collector, could have 
suffered the worst penalties of the county court without _ a 
pang, but he could not brook so much as a whisper of that vile 
epithet " welsher." 

So he sat in his back parlour, smoking and turning over the 
leaves of a dilapidated old sporting magazine. 

" I do believe your stopping at home has been lucky to me, 
Jarred," said his mother presently. " I had a bit of good 
fortune to-day." 



Lost for Love. 307 

" Did yon now ? Found some silver screwed up in a bit of 
paper in some of the crockery yonder, I suppose. I never 
knew such an old party for screwing up money in bits of 
newspaper." 

" No, Jarred. I have too many calls for money to mislay it. 
That wasn't my good luck. You know that handsome voylet- 
coloured satin in the window ? " 

" Know it ! " exclaimed Jarred contemptuously ; " I know 
it as well as I do the union-jack, and am about as tired of 
seeing it." 

" Well, Jarred, your eyes will never be offended by it again ; 
though I do say so — long as it has been upon my hands — a 
handsomer dress was never offered a bargain. I've sold it." 

" Have you ? Why, then, I shall begin to believe in Dr. 
Cumming, and that the end of the world isn't far off" 

" It's all very well to have your joke, Jarred, but it isn't my 
fault if business isn't brisker. The fact is, there's no money 
to spare in Voysey- street, or the dress wouldn't have hung in 
my window so long." 

" How did you manage to get rid of it at last ? " asked Jarred 
carelessly. 

" Well, it was about half an hour after I'd taken up your break- 
fast, and I was dusting this room, while the girl shelled the peas, 
when I heard the shop-door bell go tinkle tinkle, timid like. 
' Ah,' thinks I, " it's one of your wandering Christians, as some 
one calls 'em, come to ask the price of half the things in my 
shop, with no more intention of buying than of leaving me an 
independency;' so I gave a sort of a groan and went to see 
who it was." 

Mrs. Gurner paused to give effect to her narration, allowing a 
brief interval of suspense, with a view of stimulating her hearer's 
interest. 

" Who should it be, Jarred, but old Mrs. Hagstock, Mrs. 
Simmons's mother ; a very respectable old lady, who lives over 
at Simmons's, and helps to keep things straight, Mrs. Simmons's 
time being taken up with the business and her young family. 
Well, she wishes me good morning, and I return the compliment, 
and ask her to take a chair ; and then she ups and tells me 
that her youngest grandson — a fine baby, for I saw him in his 
toother's arms this morning when I went over to pick that 
shoulder of lamb — is to be christened to-morrow, and she 
wanted to look the lady at the ceremony, and there was to be 
a tea-party in the evening; and then_ she says: 'To put it 
plainly with you, Mrs. Gurner, what is the lowest you can 
take for that plum-coloured satin, if so be that it's my 
length? 1 " 



308 luOBt for Jjove. 

Here again Mrs. Gurner paused for oratorical effect. 

" Well, Jarred, I measured the skirt against her, and it was 
full three inches on the ground, which would allow for taking 
off a piece at the gathers, where the satin was a trifle rubbed. 
' Mrs. Hagstock,' says I, ' with every wish to oblige you, I 
couldn't in justice to myself and family take less than fifty 
shillings for that dress. It would be wasted breath,' says J, 
' to praise the quality of the satin ; if it doesn't stand alone 
it's only because no dress ever did stand alone. There — they 
don't make such satins nowadays,' says I. Upon which that 
artful old woman turned round upon me and said it was an 
old-fashioned colour. ' It's like old china,' says I, ' if it is 
old-fashioned. It's a colour and a quality that you can't get 
for love or money.' " 

" Never mind what you said to the old lady, and what the 
old lady said to you, mother. How much did you screw out 
of her P" 

" Well, after half an hour's talk, she brought out one pound 
seventeen-and-six. I believe it was every penny she had in the 
world, Jarred, so I let her have the dress. And with the white 
Paisley shawl she was married in, and has kept laid by ever 
since, she'll look quite the lady to-morrow. I think I shall step 
round to the church and have a peep at her, just to see how the 
satin looks upon her." 

" It might be a novelty to you to see the inside of a church, 
certainly," replied Jarred jocosely. 

The Voysey-street people were not great church-goers, pre- 
ferring, as a rule, to devote their Sabbath mornings to 
culinary operations, and their Sabbath evenings to a friendly 
gossip on their door-steps, or a summer stroll to the Eegent's 
Park. 

The violin was finished by Saturday, and the violin-doctor 
received his price from Mr. Ahasuerus, who paid the money 
ungrudgingly and promised more work. 

" Corelli never played upon a better instrument," said the old 
gentleman us he put the fiddle to his shoulder and ran a bow 
lightly across the strings. And from that hour he almost 
believed that the violin was a genuine Straduarius, or rather 
he made believe so well that he only just escaped self- 
deception. 

Jarred felt ever so much more of a man as he walked away 
from Leicester-square with five sovereigns of hard-earned money 
in his waistcoat-pocket. Twenty, nay fifty, pounds extorted 
from Dr. Ollivant could not have done him half so much good. 
He went back to his accustomed haunt — the parlour at the 
King's Head — with his crest erect met his creditors with a 



Xo*t for Love. 309 

bold and open front, paid &o much of his debt as he could, and 
promised to pay the balance before the next week was out. 
Conduct so honourable to manhood elicited the applause of 
the parlour, and Jarred might have regaled himself at tho 
expense of his friends to a dangerous extent had he been so 
minded. 

For once in a way, however, Mr. Gurner was proof against 
temptation. He took no more than was consistent with a liberal 
interpretation of that valuable virtue sobriety, and walked back 
to Voysey-street, still erect* of mien and clear of speech, a few 
minutes before eleven. 

In the semi-darkness of the passage he encountered his mother 
in a state of wild excitement. 

"0 Jarred," she exclaimed, "wonders will never cease! 
There's such a surprise for you." 

" Lord bless the old lady, she's all of a twitter ! " cried Jarred. 
" What surprise?" 

"Loo!" 

He waited for not another word, but pushed past his mother 
and dashed into the parlour. 

There, in the shabby little dimly-lighted room, stood a lady, 
dressed in fawn-coloured silk — a fabric with deep shades of 
brown and bright flashes of grid in its lustrous folds ; a dress 
fashioned with a grandiose simplicity; voluminous, flowing, 
artistic ; not a style after lie Follet or Mr. Worth, but rather 
after Titian and his contemporaries. The lady's raven hair 
formed a splendid coronal at the top of her well-shaped head ; 
her olive complexion was vividly contrasted by a ribbon of 
deepest blue, which showed above the lace ruffle she wore 
about her neck ; a single sapphire shone darkly bright in each 
small ear. Loo, indeed, but a changed and glorified Loo; a 
Loo who had never been seen in Voysey-street before to- 
night. 

" My girl," cried Jarred rapturously, as he clasped her in his 
arms, " why, what a beauty you have grown ! " 

" Do you really think I've improved, father P " she asked 
shyly. 

" Improved ! Why, I haven't seen your match for many a 
day. Didn't I always tell you there were the makings of a fine 
woman in you ? But I didn't suppose you'd turn out such a 
stunner. And what a surprise to see you here to-night, Loo, 
when I thought you were in Naples ! Egad, if I'd known 
you'd been nearer I should have written to ask you to help 
me out of a difficulty, though it is against the rules in that 
case made and provided. But tell me what brought you to 
England." 



310 Lost for Lo 

And then father and daughter sat down side by side, and 
talked together confidentially — Loo with all her old fondness 
for the scampish father she had slaved for and admired in tha 
years that were gone. They sat and talked together freely, 
happily, with unrestrained words, with nnclouded brows; 
which could hardly have been possible to either if Voysey- 
street had been correct in its least charitable suppositions 
as to Louisa's history. 



CHAPTER XXXIV. 

" Et je pleurals, eeul, loin des yeux du monde, 
Mori pauvre amour enseveli." 

" This shadowy desert, unfrequented woods, 
I better brook than nourishing peopled towns : 
Here can I sit alone, unseen of any, 
And to the nightingale's complaining notes 
Tune my distresses, and record my woes." 

In the drowsy August weather, just when the heat and glory 
of the vanishing summer seemed most potent, Mrs. Ollivant 
and her daughter-in-law found themselves at Killarney; the 
solemn mountains closing round them, and shutting out all the 
busy world beyond; the quiet lakes stretched before them, 
sunlit, placid, unutterably beautiful; and all the gentle voices 
of nature crying peace to that troubled heart, where there was 
no peace. 

Dr. Ollivant, who with calm and hidden sway ruled the 
travellers' movements, had protested against his wife's resi- 
dence in an hotel. Vain for Mr. Chalfont to assure him that 
the Killarney hotels are delightful, that in them the visitor 
could enjoy seclusion the most complete, or the pleasantest 
society ; Dr. Ollivant would have none of them. 

"My wife shall go to no place where pleasant society is a 
possibility," he said grimly. " I don't want her driven into an 
untimely grave." 



Lost for Love. 311 

Mr. Chalfont sighed, and plaintively reminded the doctor 
that there were pleasures of the table to be enjoyed at a well- 
organised table-d'hute, which could hai'dly be assured in any 
private establishment. " And the dinners they gave us at 
Killarney were really most superior," urged the family prac- 
titioner. 

" Were they worthy of Lucullus or Brillat Savarin, my wife 
should not eat at a public table," answered Dr. Ollivant de- 
cisively. " We must get a cottage somewhere near the lakes." 

" I don't think that will be easy," said Mr. Chalfont. 

It was not easy; but after a good deal of correspondence, 
chiefly by telegraph, whereby all waste of time was avoided, 
Dr. Ollivant heard of a place that appeared suitable. It was 
a rustic cottage near Muckross, with windows commanding a 
view of the middle lake — a cottage with a garden where all 
beautiful things grew with the rich luxuriance common to that 
favoured soil. Climbing roses covered the gray-stone walls, 
mountain ashes spread their leafy plumage above the lawn, 
spicy carnations and mignonette filled the old-fashioned borders, 
glossy arbutus leaves screened the low house from adverse winds. 
No more sheltered nook could have been found amidst those 
romantic scenes. 

So far as a mind ill at ease may be charmed with external 
beauty, Flora was charmed with Killarney. But for the eyes 
of the sorrowful, all things take one dull dead hue, or else by 
their brightness and beauty aggravate the keen sense of pain. 
Just as Flora had felt at Branscomb after Walter's disappear- 
ance she felt here. It was so hard to be miserable in a world 
so full of beauty. Vainly did Mrs. Ollivant, guide-book in 
hand, expound the features of the scene ; vainly endeavour to 
awaken in her companion that conscientious and painstaking 
admiration of nature which is the first duty of the tourist. 
Flora turned her languid eyes from Tore to Mangerton, and did 
not even know which was which. 

" My love," said her mother-in-law seriously, " it is not the 
least use coming to a place of this kind unless you take the 
trouble to appreciate the scenery, and at any rate learn the 
names of the objects around you. You remembered all you 
saw in Rome — the Colisseum, and Trajan's what's-its-name." 

" Yes, mamma, but I was happy then," sighed Flora. " Cuth- 
tiert used to read bits of an English Tacitus to me as we sat 
among the ruins, till Rome seemed peopled with the dead. 
And we used to talk about Virgil and Horace, and the Rome 
they knew, before the old gods were dead ; and then he would 
quote that lament of Alfred de Musset's, in Bolla. Or he 
would take out a pocket volume of Shakespeare, and read a 



312 Lost for Love. 

scene from one of the Eoman playa, Yes, I was nappy then," 
she concluded with a sigh. 

" And you will be happy again," eaid Mrs. Ollivant. " It is 
not possible for two people wha love each other to remain 
estranged for ever." 

" I did love him, mamma. I never knew how well until " 

"Until I discovered him unworthy of my love," she would 
have said, but left the sentence incomplete, and only ended it 
with a sigh. She could not speak against the son to the 
mother — above all to a mother who sacrificed so much out of 
affection for her. 

It was a sleepy kind of existence which the two ladies led in 
that rustic retreat by the lake. Flora was hardly strong enough, 
yet, for the regular round of excursions, easy as locomotion is 
made for the pleasure-seeker at Killarney. She allowed her- 
self to be rowed about the lakes, and appeared to feel a languid 
pleasure in the slow movement of the boat, the gentle ripple of 
summer waves, the still beauty of the scene. She would spend 
long hours with her books on lovely Inisfallen, while Mrs. Olli- 
vant, to whom actual idleness meant martyrdom, worked un- 
tiringly at a pair of Berlin-wool slippers for her son — slippers 
which the unluxurious doctor would permit to adorn his 
dressing-room, but rarely deign, to wear. Here, in this green 
retreat of the monks of old, Flora would muse over Horace or 
Hugo, Byron or De Musset, and ever and anon, with bitterest 
sigh, remember who had taught her to appreciate the greatest 
authors, and to make other tongues as her own. 

Whom did she most regret in these sad hours of secret 
mourning? The lover her childish fancy had chosen, and 
whom Fate and evil passions had reft from her untimely, or 
•the husband of her womanhood ? Easy to answer that ques- 
tion. "Whose image was it that most haunted her?_ Whose 
looks and tones recurred with every familiar page, with every 
favourite passage in her chosen poets ? Whose but those of 
the master and guide who had formed her mind, and filled her 
dreams with fairest fancies ? It was of Cuthbert she thought; 
it was Cuthbert she mourned. That Cuthbert for whom she 
had avowed her hatred, from whom she had separated her life 
for ever. Hard to break a tie that had endured through more 
than a year of happy married life — a tie that had begun to be 
woven long before her marriage, in those sad days when she 
awoke from darkest fever-dreams, in a strange house, and asked 
Cuthbert Ollivant what had become of her father. From that 
hour — yes, from the first hour of her orphanhood — he had been 
all the world to her — his the single all-sustaining love which 
her weak nature needed; he the deeply-rooted oak upon which 



Lost for Love. 313 

she could hang, poor parasite as she was, in the utter woman- 
liness of her character. Without him her life fell into ruin, or 
became a mere segment of life, purposeless, meaningless; not 
life at all, but simply endurance; a dull suffering of days and 
nights, sunrise and sunset, warmth and cold; existence as 
mindless and hopeless as that of the cattle on the hill-side, and 
without their animal joy in living. 

Sometimes she would close her boot with a short sudden 
sigh, that was tike a stifled sob, and rise from her moss-grown 
bank, and walk away from the spot where her calm duenna 
worked tittle criss-cross stitches with Berlin wool, and put in 
a few beads here and there, and admired the effect of her 
labours, and was happy. Mora would wander away in the 
green solitude, and lean her head against one of the great 
ash-trunks, and shed secret tears — tears of love and pity and 
regret — for the husband for whose falsehood she had declared 
her hatred and her contempt. Bitter were those tears, for they 
were shed in utter hopelessness. 

" If God would let me die ! " That was her only prayer. 
But in spite of hidden tears, of nights that were half unrest, 
the sweet soft air of Ksrry did its work of healing. The 
languid eyes regained some of their old light, the oval cheek 
recovered its delicate bloom. As Flora grew stronger, the two 
ladies wandered farther afield; they climbed Mangerton and 
looked down upon the glorious panorama of hills and waters ; 
they spent long days on the laurel-shaded banks of that mighty 
cascade which comes rushing down from the summit of Man- 
gerton ; Flora botanising, Mrs. Ollivant steadfast to the slippers 
They penetrated the gap of Dunloe, and rode their trusty 
ponies into the Black Valley; and from the time she first 
beheld it this lonely vale was Flora's favourite resort. The 
gloomy grandeur of the scene seemed in harmony with sad 
thoughts ; the solitude soothed her. By degrees, Mrs. Ollivant 
came to understand that it might be better sometimes to let 
Flora wander alone, or at least with no other companion than 
the sturdy guide who led her pony over the rough bits of road, 
and told her the legends that belonged to every crag and peak. 
And Mrs. Ollivant, having punctiliously followed the precepts 
of the guide-book, felt that she had done her duty to Killarney, 
and in her heart of hearts preferred sitting in the shade of a 
weeping ash on the lawn, reading her favourite Wordsworth, 
or grounding dear Cuthbert's slippers, to the more exhausting 
pleasures that appertain to the worship of nature. 

So Flora crossed the lake in a little boat reserved for her 
especial use, and on the other aide found her pony in the charge 
of a faithful gossoon, her liege retainer, and rode thence to the 



314 jjost for Love. 

Black Valley, that awful amphitheatre of hills, which even on 
the sunniest day has an aspect of all-abiding gloom. Here she 
would roam at will, while the guide, who was discreet enough 
to know when he was not wanted, sat on some green knoll and 
busied himself with the fabrication of salmon flies, being a man 
of infinite resources. The few inhabitants of that romantic 
solitude grew to be familiar with the pretty yonng English 
lady. The bright-faced girls loved to talk to her, the women 
brought her goat's milk, the children gathered ferns and wild* 
flowers for her. The very dogs fawned upon her, and entreated 
her notice. She was nearer happiness in these lonely rambles 
than she had ever been since that dreadful June evening at the 
Willows, when Jarred Gurner revealed her husband's baseness. 

Here, in this grand and melancholy scene, her soul rose to 
its loftier level. That old selfish lament — " He saw my grief, 
he saw me endure the agony of hope deferred, the sickening 
tortures of suspense, and he went on deceiving me " — was for- 
gotten. She thought of her husband for the first time with 
unalloyed pity. He was so far from her, so utterly divided! 
She could survey his conduct more calmly from this distance. 
She looked back as to a past life, and saw him with eyes that 
were no longer passion-blinded. It was for her sake he had 
sinned. Let her think of him ever so unkindly, she could not 
quite shut that fact out of her mind. For her sake, to win 
her love, he had been false to himself. It was not in his nature 
to stoop, it was not in his nature to deceive ; and for her sake 
he had made himself a liar and a hypocrite. She recalled those 
moments of gloom which had puzzled and distressed her — dark 
moods that had stolen upon her husband even in their sunniest 
hours — depression which he had referred to professional anxieties. 
She could understand now that he had suffered for his sin ; the 
burden of his falsehood had not sat lightly upon him; all 
that was noble in his soul had revolted against that one great 
meanness. 

" And it was for my sake," she told herself. Many women 
would have been proud of such a passion ; just as Cleopatra 
may have been proud when her warrior-lover bartered his glory 
for her worthless love, and followed her vanishing sails, and 
told her that worlds won or lost counted less than one tear 
of hers. 

Sometimes Flora thought of her husband with such settled 
and hopeless sorrow as she might have felt for the very dead — 
for one whose days and wrongs were done, whose memory only 
remained to be cherished or despised. But there were other 
moments, when her fancy pictured him in his lonely life, and 
her heart ached for his forlornness. 



Lost for Love. 315 

" How strange the house must seem ! " she thought, picturing 
to herself those familiar rooms in Wimpole- street. The Wil- 
lows, she knew, was given over to the care of servants; her 
husband was not likely to go there. " How strange and how 
lonely that stiff London house must look ! — worse than when I 
first saw it, and wondered at its cold primness — much worse for 
Cuthbert now that his mother is no longer there to keep him 
company. He will sit in his consulting-room half through 
the night, reading those dreadful medical books — English and 
.French and German. What horrid creatures we must be, 
when so many doctors can find so much to write about our 
diseases ! Poor Cuthbert ! It seems such a dreary life. But 
it is only the same kind of existence he led before papa came 
home from Australia. It could not matter to him very much ; 
if it were not that we have been so happy." And she remem- 
bered those famous lines they two had so often read together : 

" Nossun maggior dolore, 
Che ricordarsi. del tempo felici 
Nella miseria. ' 



CHAPTER XXXV- 

" She spoke with passion after pause— And were it wisely done 
If we who cannot gaze above, should walk: the earth alone ? 
If "we whose virtue is so weak should have a will so strong, 
And stand blind on the rocks to choose the right path from the wrong f 
To choose perhaps a lovelit hearth, instead of love and heaven, — 
A single rose, for a rose-tree which beareth seven times seveu ? 
A rose that droppeth from the hand, that fadetb. in the breast, 
Until, in grieving for the worst, we learn what ia the best ! " 

They had been more than a month at Muckross, and the first 
leaflets of autumn were beginning to fall lightly on the mossy 
turf, and in the park-like roads where the pine-trees shed their 
cones on the path. Flora's improved health was an agreeable 
subject for Mrs. Ollivant to enlarge upon in her letters to her 
son, and she little dreamed how many a pang she inflicted on the 
lonely worker when she discoursed of his wife's brightening cheeks 
quiet slumbers, and improved spirits. There are wounds whose 
pain the tenderest touch can only irritate. Reading those cheer- 



316 Lost for Love. 

ful letters in the dull solitude of his consulting-room, by the gray 
London light, Cuthbert Ollivant thought how shallow a soul this 
must be, whose griefs mountain scenery and fresh air could cure 
—how frail the tie which had bound his young wife to him, wfcsn 
its severance left so slight a scar. 

" I have prayed God for her happiness," he said to himself 
afterward, ashamed of his selfish pang. " Am I weak enough 
to be sorry that my prayer has been heard ? Let me think of 
her tenderly, as the thorn-tree may remember the summer but- 
terfly that floated about its rough branches for a noontide, 
brightening and beautifying it for a little while, and then soar- 
ing away to the flowers." 

"Had we not better go back to the Willows, mamma?" 
Flora asked one morning. " You must be anxious to see that 
all is right." 

She could not bring herself to speak of her husband ; but it 
was of the mother's desire to see her son she was thinking. 

"Well, yes, my love, I shall b© very glad to see poor Cuthbert 
again. His letters are so short and so far apart, and altogether 
so unsatisfactory, that I am naturally rather anxious about him. 
It is more than a week since I heard last. And then there are 
the servants at the Willows. It isn't quite a wise thing to leave 
them alone so long ; yet it seems cruel to take you away, while 
the warm weather lasts, for you seem so fond of the place." 

" I do like it very much, mamma ; it is so sweet and sad and 
solitary ; but I am ready to go back whenever you please. I 
wish to obey you, dear mamma ; for, believe me," with a broken 
sob, " I am anxious to make up to you in some small measure 
for all the sacrifices you have made for me." 

" Do not speak of them, dearest. It is true that I should like 
to be with Cuthbert, but he wishes me to be with you ; and I 
have never thwarted any wish of his. And then I look forward 
with hope " 

" Do not hope anything for me, mamma ; I have done with 
hope." 

" Ton said the same two years ago, dear, in your grief; yet 
you have known some happy hours since then." 

Flora turned from her with a sigh. It was thus she ended all 
consolatory arguments. But she did not forget the mother's 
anxiety to see her son, the housekeeper's concern for her house- 
hold. 

" I believe I am quite well now, mamma," she said ; " well 
enough to satisfy Mr. Chalfont, and to do without his eternal 
tonics ; so we may as well go home as soon as you like." 

" Then I'll write to Mary Anne to-day, and see about the 
packing to-morrow," replied Mrs. Ollivant delightedly. 



Lost for Love. 317 

Packing with her was a solemn business, that occupied at least 
two days, and demanded serious thought. 

The Mary Anne to whom she was going to announce her 
return was a somewhat antiquated female, who had been 
housemaid and parlourmaid in the quiet establishment at Long 
Sutton; one of those household treasures, an old servant. 

Flora went out alone that afternoon, for one of her last rambles, 
more regretful at leaving this tranquil retreat than she would 
have liked her mother-in-law to know. She had not been happy 
here ; but she had been at peace. There had been nothing to 
remind her of her past life, with its shifting lights, its dark 
shadows. To return to the Willows was to go back to the empty 
husk of her lost happiness. Not an object in that house, which 
Cuthbert Ollivant had been so glad to adorn for her, but woulcJ 
remind her of how much she had lost in losing him. 

Pleasant to open the little gate that led into the sacred pre- 
cincts of the abbey, unfollowed by the juvenile guardian of the 
shrine, for whom Flora was a privileged person. How still and 
calm and holy was that ancient place of tombs, all nature's 
wildest fairest growth beautifying and sheltering it — deep grass, 
greenest mosses, gray lichen, ruddy strawberry leaves; the ferns 
grown tall and rank in their autumnal maturity, the wild honey- 
suckle exhaling its latest breath in perfume, the berries bright- 
ening to deepest red on mountain ash and arbutus, the first 
yellowing leaves upon poplar and plane, the creeping blue birds- 
eye stealing in and out among loftier weeds, purple foxgloves 
lifting their slender spires among the ferns. 

Flora moved softly through the deep grass to her favourite 
nook, awed, no less than on her first entrance here, by the 
solemn beauty of the scene. She had her chosen spot — a quiet 
corner of the burial ground — where she could sit for hours, hid- 
den by the angle of a great square tomb, and out of the beat 
of exploring tourists. The boy who guarded the place knew her 
retreat, and was careful to keep strangers away from it. She 
seated herself on a humble mossy old grave beside the loftier 
tomb, and opened her book —her beloved Dante, almost every 
page scored and annotated with her husband's pencil. He had 
taught her Italian out of Dante, just as he had taught her Latin 
out of Horace. There were his careful notes on the margin of 
each page, every obscurity made clear, every rugged line made 
smooth. They had read their favourite pages together in Italy, 
where climate and landscape lent reality to the verse, and Dante's 
poem seemed to take new grandeur from Dante's land. To-day 
she turned the leaves slowly, finding it a hard thing to keep her 
ideas from wandering far from the page. 

" If I had never known the truth I might still have been 



318 Lost for Love. 

happy," she thought, brooding upon that revelation of Jarred 
Gurner's. She had been so happy just before that evil day, 
looking forward with unutterable hopes to the time when her 
baby would smile upon her — when Outhbert would be proud and 
glad with the pride and gladness of a father — when all the world 
would seem brighter for those two, because of the new bright 
life that would be theirs to cherish and adore. As a child thinks 
of its first doll, a maiden of her first lover, Flora had thought of 
the child that was to be given to her arms ; and lo, death had 
claimed the unopened bud, and sent it to blossom in a fairer, 
holier land. 

She closed her volume with a despairing sigh. All the wide 
world of poetry could not comfort her, or beguile her thoughts 
from her own little life and its great grief. Francesca and her 
lover were but empty shadows; and if they had loved and 
suffered verily in their day she could hardly pity them. Suffer- 
ing seemed the common lot of humanity. All the horrors of the 
dreamer's underworld could not awaken her interest. Ugolino 
was simply a bore. She tossed the book aside impatiently, and 
gave herself up to musing on her own troubles. What was she 
to do with that empty remnant of her life, which remained to be 
got rid of somehow ? 

The rustle of a woman's dress sweeping over the long grass 
roused her from this gloomy reverie, after it had lasted some time. 
She looked up, and saw a lady approaching ; young, tall, hand- 
some, and 0, so happy-looking — a woman who looked as if her 
world was all sunshine. She came quickly along, looking about 
her admiringly, uttering a little exclamation of delight, now and 
then, involuntarily, for she had no one to whom to communicate 
her rapture. She was very handsome, quite in a different style 
from Flora's flower-like beauty ; whereby Flora, as was natural, 
admired her intensely. This stranger was a brunette, with an 
olive complexion, and eyes that were darker than a starless 
night. She had a sweet smiling mouth, and white teeth that 
showed a little between the red slightly-parted lips. She was 
dressed in soft Indian silk, of a yellowish hue, which harmonised 
wonderfully with the rich colouring of her somewhat Spanish 
beauty ; and in her gray- felt hat there was a scarlet plume, 
fastened with a broad silver buckle — just such a hat as one 
sees in some of Vandyke's portraits. A scarlet shawl — a real 
Indian fabric — embroidered with gold-coloured silk, hung care- 
lessly upon her shoulders, and a large umbrella of the same 
material as her dress sheltered her from the sun. In one hand 
she carried a flat japanned colour-box, and this, to Flora's sur- 
prise, she deposited among the strawberry plants and ivy upon 
the stone tomb. She was going to sketch, evidently; but where 



Lost for Love. 319 

was her sketch-book? Flara watched her movements with 
languid curiosity. Having laid down her paint-box, the lady 
looked about her for a minute or so, and then mounted one of 
the low graves, and looked across the burial-ground, and called, 
" Toinette, Toinette ! " whereupon a shrill voice with a very 
decided twang responded, " M' voici, m'd'me ! j'viens, m'd'me ;" 
and then a much smaller voice, also shrill, cried, " Mam — mam — 
mam — man ! " and anon a young person in a neat cambric cap 
appeared, stumbling over the graves, and through the long grass 
and brambles, carrying a large portfolio and an artist's camp- 
stool, and with a very small child — all white and scarlet, like a 
tropical bird— hanging on to her dress. 

"Come to mamma, darling," cried the lady; and presently 
the little eighteen-months-old toddler was lifted in her strong 
young arms, and held up in the sunlight, cooing, laughing, 
joyous, and crying, "'Gain, maman, 'gain!" — meaning that the 
tossing operation, however fatiguing to the operator, was to be 
continued until farther notice. 

Hot tears welled rip into Flora's eyes, and she turned her 
face against the tomb which concealed her from the strangers, 
to hide those streaming eyes from the light. Happy mother, 
happy child! Over her baby's narrow grave the summer 
flowers had bloomed and faded. She had never held him in her 
arms, never seen his sweet blue eyes. Why were some people 
so happy in this world, she asked, and she so miserable ? A 
common question which poor humanity is prone to address to 
Fate. The camp-stool was provided with a big canvas umbrella ; 
there was also a portable easel, which the lady arranged with 
extreme care and precision, while the French bonne rambled 
about with the child, showing it the flowers and trees and 
tombs, with perpetual exclamations in the style of Maguelon 
and Tveline, m Nos Bons Villageois. 

" I think that will do," said the lady to herself, after arranging 
and rearranging the easel, and shifting the big umbrella two 
or three times. 

"What a fuss she makes about her things," thought Flora; 
" she ought to be a very great artist for her sketches to be 
worth all this preparation." 

But the lady made no sign of beginning work. She walked 
in and out among the low graves, looked at the view from every 
point, paused to survey her preparations, smiled approvingly. 

" I think he will like this spot," she murmured. " That 
angle of the abbey stands out so well against the foliage. 
What a lovely background for one of his subjects ! He might 
paint as good a picture as Millais' Huguenots ; just two lovers 
meeting or parting in front of yonder ruined wall, and every 



320 Lost for Love. 

bit of lichen and ivy on that old tomb standing sharply out in 
the clear air." 

" 0," thought Flora, " all these preparations are for some one 
else — her husband perhaps." 

She thought of the brief happy days at Branscomb, in that 
bygone life of hers, when she too had busied herself with a 
painter's paraphernalia, and arranged the pencils and dabbled 
with the colours belonging to that Eaffaelle in embryo, Mr. 
Walter Leyburne. 

"How foolish I was in those days !" she mused, pitying her 
fond girlish delusions; "and if that old woman told the truth, 
he never really cared for me. Poor papa almost asked him to 
propose to me, I daresay ;" blushing hotly at the humiliating idea. 

And then she thought of that young lover's awful death ; 
hurled in one moment from the sunlight and glory of this 
world to tragic instantaneous death; horrible death, perchance; 
for who could tell what endurance of agony might not be con- 
centrated in that awful moment? The sun shining on the 
smiling summer fields, the skylark carolling in heaven's un- 
clouded vault; and below that bright glad world the awful 
illimitable gulf men call the grave. 

" How could my husband ever be happy, remembering that 
hour ? " she wondered. " How could he ever feel himself less 
than a murderer?" 

She lapsed into gloomy thought, and forgot the strange lady, 
who, after fluttering about a little, now here, now there, disap- 
peared from that corner of the burial-ground, leaving the easel 
and umbrella ready for the coming worker. Flora looked up 
presently, slightly curious about any lover of that art she loved 
so well. She thought of her own portfolios and sketching- 
gear, lying idle in her pretty morning-room at the Willows. 
She had not touched pencil or brushes since that cruel hour 
when the bright thread of life was broken. Old pursuits 
could delight her no longer ; life's joy-bells were out of tune. 
Yet she was too much an artist in her small way to behold 
that easel and colour-box without some faint interest, and she 
watched for the coming of the painter. 

" I don't think I should ever have cared for him if he hadn't 
been a painter," she mused, remembering how her interest in 
the young stranger in the velvet coat had first been aroused, in 
the far-away time when she used to look out of the window in 
Fitzroy-square, that stony dreary quadrangle which to her 
fancy was the finest square in London. 

A footfall came softly across the deep grass, the odour af a 
choice havannah polluted the sweet flower- scented air. The 
artist was approaching. 



Lost for Love. 321 

She looked up curiously from her snug retreat in the angle 
made by the tomb and low fern-fringed wall. He too wore 
a velvet coat. It was the custom of the painter tribe evidently. 
He too had a silky moustache of palest auburn ; she could 
just see the drooping ends under the broad brim of his Panama 
hat. He wore a short Vandyke beard. He was tall and slim, 
and youthful of aspect, with long white feminine hands, an 
onyx cameo on one finger, a cornelian intaglio on the other. 
Her face grew white as the cotton-flowers in the Black Valley, 
the fleecy blossoms that whiten the marshy grounds, like snow 
in summer. The stranger — whose face she had not seen yet — 
had a carriage and manner that turned her blood to ice. So 
like the dead — so like the dead ! Yet why should not two young 
men resemble each other in figure and bearing ? There was 
nothing extraordinary in the resemblance ; but it gave her an 
awful feeling, as if the returning dead had drawn near her 
under the bright blue sky. She could hardly breathe. She felt 
that horrid sense of oppression which seizes upon the sleeper 
in a nightmare dream ; felt that' she wanted to cry aloud, and 
could not for her very life. The stranger lingered a little before 
he came to the easel, looked about him admiringly, consider- 
ingly, as the lady had done; mounted a lowly grave and 
surveyed the scene, with that indifference to the sanctity of 
graves which marks the tourist; walked about a little, ex- 
ploring, meditating, and then began to sing to himself softly in 
a tender tenor voice — a voice that had a faint touch of that 
veiled tone with which Sims Reeves strikes the fountain of our 
tears, the one exquisitely pathetic voice, which to have heard 
but once is to remember for ever. He sang the "Donna e 
Mobile," singing as he strolled from tomb to tomb, with just that 
debonnair tone in which Mario used to troll the melody as he 
sauntered gaily across the bridge, leaving death and ruin behind 
him. At the sound of that familiar air, Flora began to tremble 
violently. She drew closer to the tomb, clung to it, as if there 
were succour and defence from some unfathomable horror even 
in that stony shelter. 

" If the dead could come back," she thought ; " if it were 
possible, or if it were possible that man had deceived me ! But 
no, Cuthbert acknowledged it. My husband confessed his part 
in Walter's death. It is only a likeness in voice, and in walk 
and figure ! " 

She paused, breathless, and wiped the cold perspiration from 
her forehead. Greater terror she could hardly have known had 
the dead verily appeared to her. She thought of Lazarus, and 
of that unspeakable awe which must have fallen upon his sisters 
when they saw their dead come forth at his Master's summons. 

x 



822 Lost for Love. 

"The voice — the voice!" she thought, as those tender notes 
floated away on the soft air. " It is his very tone — his favourite 
melody. How often I have heard him sing, just like that, as he 
stooped over my shoulder to correct a Mne in my drawing, 
without knowing that he was singing!" 

The stranger completed his survey, and sauntered up to the 
tomb, opened his colour-box, still singing to himself in an under- 
tone, and arranged his sheaf of brushes, his pallet, his tubes ; 
and then, when all was ready, tossed his hat into the ferns and 
briars. 

Then, bareheaded, he bent over the tomb for the last time, to 
take up his pallet before seating himself under the umbrella ; 
and as he did so Flora lifted her white face above the edge of 
the tomb and looked at him. 

It was Walter Leyburne. 

She gave a fearful cry, and fell face downwards in the long 
grass. 

He had not seen the small white face looking at him over the 
ivy and lichen and strawberry leaves, and was so much the more 
startled by that agonised shriek, which seemed to come from 
the earth. 

" Is it mandrake ? " he thought ; " the soul of the murdered 
crying out against his assassin P " 

He looked about him — saw the fallen figure in its white dress, 
dashed across a grave or two, and Hfted the lifeless form in 
his arms. 

" A nice situation," he said to himself, " burdened with an 
unconscious stranger ! Loo ! Toinette ! " 

No one answered his call. He stood in helpless perplexity 
for a few moments, not having the faintest idea what he ought 
to do for the sufferer. She hung motionless in his arms, her face 
turned towards his shoulder. 

There was no restorative at hand but the sweet fresh 'moun- 
tain air — not a beck or pool within ten minutes' walk; so, 
faintly remembering something that a doctor had once told 
him, he laid the lifeless stranger gently down on the soft long 
grass, with her pale face turned upward to the smiling sky. 
Then for the first time he saw and recognised that unforgotten 
face. 

"Flora!" he cried. 

The heavy white lids were slowly hfted, as if life came 
back at his bidding ; the melancholy blue eyes looked at him 
dreamily for a moment, as sense returned to the bewildered 
brain and then the lips faltered: 

" Am I dead too, and in the land of death ? " 

The painter watched her with a guilty look as «he slowly 



Lost for Love. 323 

raised herself from that soft couch among the low graves, and 
tottered back to her favourite seat by the ivy- shrouded tomb. 

" Flora," he said, " forgive me!" 

"Forgive you!" she echoed, looking at him dreamily; "for- 
give you — for what?" 

" For having suffered you to believe me dead. I must seem 
a coward in your sight — a hypocrite — all that is low and mean; 
but I have been the creature of circumstances. When you 
know all, you will acknowledge that." 

"I want to know nothing," she answered with dignity, 
" except that my husband is guiltless of your blood. I have 
made him suffer — have suffered myself — a world of agony for 
your sake." 

She looked at him wonderingly. He seemed to have lost the 
grace and glory that had once surrounded him like a halo. He 
seemed of a different clay from the lover of her girlhood. 
Handsome still, graceful still, with not one attribute of his 
youth changed or lessened — yet not the same. The glamour 
was gone for ever. 

" What motive had you for leaving me under such a miserable 
delusion about you?" she asked passionately, remembering all 
the anguish of the last few months. " Why did you make a 
good man suffer years of wasted remorse for your sake ? " 

" The good man, having knocked me down on the edge of a 
precipice, had some right to his share of compunction," an- 
swered Walter Leyburne, coolly. " If my reticence caused you 
any pain, Flora, I am deeply sorry." 

" You were my betrothed husband," she answered. " In all 
the world I had only you, and my father, and Dr. Ollivant, 
whose friendship I had not learned to value. You were half 
my world in those days, and the mystery that surrounded your 
fate made it all the more terrible. Yes, Mr. Leyburne, you 
made me suffer more than my share of agony." 

" Flora, forgive me ! Look at me, on my knees at your feet," 
he pleaded, kneeling heside her, clasping the small cold hands. 
" I did not know what I was doing. For months I lay hetween 
life and death ; and then came a time in which mind and memory 
were little better than a blank. When I came back to life and 
the waking world, and had power to communicate with you, we 
two had been parted nearly a year. I reasoned the matter out, 
and told myself that whatever natural sorrow you might have 
suffered for my fate was over and done with. Little good could 
come of your knowing the truth at that late hour. And then 
when I next heard of you, you were married to Dr. Ollivant." 

" Did not honesty to him constrain you to declare the truth, 
putting me out of the question ? " 



324 Lost for Love. 

" I owed sio allegiance to him. We fought, and he gave me a 
blow that just missed being mortal. I had no compunction 
about him. I had had my share of suffering — concussion of 
the brain, months of dangerous illness. I had just narrowly 
escaped insanity. Do you suppose that I should be particu- 
larly anxious about Ms feelings?" 

" Well, you have had your revenge," said Flora, with a sigh. 
" You have parted me from the best husband that ever woman 
had. How can I tell if he will take me back again — if he will 
ever forgive me all the hard things I said of him for your sake ? 
My life has been twice darkened for your sake. Once when I 
grieved for your unknown fate, and now again when I was 
taught to believe my husband guilty of your death. No life 
could have been happier than mine was when that knowledge 
came upon me, and I thing it all away — for your sake." 

" Easy to win all back again," said Walter, with a touch of 
that old lightness which had been a charm in the past, an attri- 
bute of that careless sunny nature which had seemed so bright 
and fair to the girl's fancy. It jarred upon the woman now. 
"Easy to reclaim his love; he is too devoted to you to be 
angry." 

Flora sighed, and was doubtful. She knew the depth of that 
soul whose love she had outraged. True that her husband's 
sin of suppression and hypocrisy was not lessened by the fact 
that his rival lived. Yet she saw all things in a new light now 
that the man she had mourned as dead stood before her, mere 
clay after all, and not an awful and sacred memory. The gulf 
between life and death is not wider than the difference between 
our estimation of the living and the dead. Sublimated by 
death the man rises to the hero, the poet soars to the god. 

Not once did Flora question her sometime lover about his 
past. She felt very sure that the dark-eyed lady who had 
arranged the sketching-gear was his wife, the little butterfly 
creature in white and scarlet his child. He had chosen his lot 
in paths removed from hers, and had kept aloof from her rather 
than confess the bitter truth that he had never loved her ; that 
his engagement to her was an entanglement from which he 
ejladly withdrew himself. All this seemed clear enough to her, 
and she had no desire to know more. All her thoughts and 
fears and hopes centred in the faithful husband from whom she 
had been parted for this man's sake. 

She rose, with an effort, and walked a little way from the 
tomb, Walter by her side, offering support to those feeble steps. 

" Thanks, I shall be stronger presently," she said ; " I am 
going home. It is not far ; a nice little shady walk, that is all. 
Good afternoon, Mr. Leyburne." 



Lost for Love. 325 

" But I cannot think of letting you go alone," he said. " You 
live near here, then? " 

" Yes ; I am staying with my mother-in-law at a cottage 
near here." 

"You are quite at home in the place, then. We — I — only 
arrived last night." 

"You and your wife and child," said Flora; "I saw them 
just now." 

" Yes," he answered, with a guilty look, " my wife and I. 
Flora, if you will only let me tell you everything — explain 
everything that has happened since that day at Branscomb — I 
am sure you would think better of me." 

'"What is the use of explanations?" asked Flora. "No 
explanation will give me back my happy life, or make my 
husband forget my cruelty to him. Let things be as they are. 
I knew long ago, when I first mourned for your supposed death, 
that you had never cared for me." 

" That is not true, Flora. I did care for you — who could 
know you without loving you ? — only " 

" Only you loved some one else better," interrupted Flora. 
" I heard all that." 

" From whom, in Heaven's name ? " 

" An old — an elderly person called upon me — a Mrs. Gurner.'* 

" What, she had the impertinence to intrude upon you ! " 
cried Walter indignantly, and with a flush of shame upon cheek 
and brow, for there are alliances a man scarcely cares to re- 
member. 

" Do not be angry with her. She seemed to pity my wasted 
grief. She told me that you had been attached to some grand- 
daughter of hers. Your wife, I suppose." 

" Yes. But you must not form your opinion of my wife from 
that horrid old woman. My wife is full of intelligence and 
brightness, and has a natural refinement that needed very little 
to develop it. She has been — but I could never reckon the sum 
of her devotion. She has given me the most unselfish love that 
man ever was blessed with. You will learn to forgive me when 
you know how much I owe her — life itself — and better than 
life, reason; for nothing less than her ceaseless care could 
have restored either. I only gave her the life I owed to her 
affection." 

" I do not grudge her the prize," returned Flora coldly. " I 
only regret that you did not think it worth while to let me 
know that you were safe and happy, and had formed new ties, 
and that I might be happy for my part. It would not have 
been much to do." 

Walter was silent for a little, and then said humbly : 



326 Lost for Love. 

"Those who had the care of me in my day of darkness 
should have communicated with you. It seemed too late after- 
wards. Nay, I confess the truth. I was coward enough to 
fear your contempt for my inconstancy — your scorn of my 
humble marriage. It seemed easier to let things glide. I left 
England on my wedding-day, and only returned late last June, 
since when my wife and I have been travelling in Scotland and 
the Lake district. We only came to Ireland a few days ago. 
After learning Italy by heart, we wanted to know the beauties 
of our native land." 

" And your fame ? " said Flora ; " I wonder that has not 
told me you were not dead. You must be a great painter by 
this time." 

" Alas, no," he answered with a smile and a sigh ; " greatness 
is not easily made out of such stuff as I. Yet I have worked 
honestly in the past two years. My wife has urged me to that, 
having grand ideas about my future. I sent a little tableau 
de genre to the last Parisian Exhibition, which was very well 
spoken of, and that is the first small leaflet I have gathered 
towards the crown of laurel I am to win some day. I signed 
my picture Mspoir, so that even if you had seen it criticized 
you would have been no wiser. Nor would you be likely to 
hear of me from friends or acquaintance. My wife and I have 
wandered from place to place, unknown and unnoticed. We 
have lived only for ourselves, courting no society, and following 
our own whims and fancies, Bohemians as we are. " 

They had been walking slowly away from the abbey precincts 
all this time, along the shady road that led to the cottage. At 
the gate of the small domain they parted, with coldest courtesy 
on Flora's part, with solicitous regard on Walter's. 

" We are to be friends in future, are we not, Flora P " he 
asked pleadingly, detaining the hand that touched his so coldly. 

" Friends at a distance," she answered. " It could not give 
you any pleasure to meet my husband. I thank God for your 
preservation upon that dreadful day. I wish you and you 
wife all happiness that life can give you ; but I would rathe 
our lives remained far apart. The memory of the past is bittei 
for all of us. God bless you, Walter ! " she said warmly, witl 
a new kindness in her face, " God bless you and yours, and 
good-bye ! " 

" That means forgiveness, doesn't it, Flora ? " 

" Yes. For the sake of the love that is dead, for my father's 
sake, who loved you so well, and as I hope to be forgiven for 
my sins. " 

" Now you have made me happy, Flora. Good-bye." 

He pressed the little hand, bent down to kiss it, and left her. 



Lott for Love. 827 

" Mamma," said Flora, going into the shady little parlour 
where Mrs. Ollivant was busily engaged in a great work of 
accountancy, going over all the Killarney bills, and comparing 
them with her household ledger, — " mamma, is it to-morrow we 
are going away ? " 

"Xo, my love. Don't you remember that we arranged for 
the day after ? I gave you a couple of days to say good-bye 
to your favourite walks." 

" Gould we go to-morrow, mamma ? " 

"Do you wish it?" 

" Very much. With all my heart." 

" What a capricious child ! Well I think it might be done — 
if I were to sit up for an hour or two to-night and work ath e 
packing." 

" Let me help you, mamma. I should like it of all things." 

" Do you think I would let you fatigue yourself ? Why, how 
white you are looking, Flora ! " exclaimed Mrs. Ollivant, lifting 
her eyes from those all-absorbing papers ; " worse than I have 
seen you look for a long time. Lie down on the sofa, dear, till 
I bring you your afternoon cup of tea. You have been over- 
tiring yourself." 

" No, mamma, there is nothing the matter with me. But I 
want to get back to London. I want to see my husband, for I 
think, if Heaven will be kind to us, we may be happy again. 
If Cuthbert can but forgive me ! " 

" Forgive you, child ! He has no thought but of your happi- 
ness. Though I do not know the cause of your quarrel, I know 
what he has suffered. There is no measure or limit to his 
love." 



328 Lost for Love. 



CHAPTER XXXVI. 

" Du lieber Gott ! was so ein Mann 
Nicht alles alles denken kann ! 
Beschamt nur steh' ich vor ihm da, 
TJnd sag' zu alien Sachen ja. 
Bin doch ein arm unwissend Kind ; 
Begreife nicht was er an mir find't." 

" Poor men's smoky cabins are not always porticoes of moral philosophy." 

Thkee years ago, a young man had lain staring at the white 
summer light shining through a square latticed window oppo- 
site his bed. The room in which he lay was the merest cottage 
chamber, with nothing to recommend it as a shelter for the 
humblest tenant, except spotless cleanliness. The worm-eaten 
old boards had been scrubbed to relentless purity, the white- 
wash showed no smirch or stain. No lurking cobweb clouded 
the corners of the ceiling. An ancient tent bedstead, with 
scanty dimity curtains and patchwork coverlet, nearly filled the 
room, leaving just enough space for an arm-chair between bed 
and wall, and a rickety old triangular washstand in a corner. 
A row of scarlet geraniums in flower-pots on the window-ledge 
brightened the room within, and embellished the cottage with- 
out. It was 'a cabin in a little fishing village^about four miles 
from Branscomb in Devon — one of a straggling row of such 
cabins built just on the edge of the rough low beach, sheltered 
from land winds by the rugged crumbling red-clay cliffs that 
rose irregularly behind it. And these eight or nine fishermen's 
huts, with a little low thatched public-house, comprised the 
village of Liddlecomb. Here the young man lay, week after 
week, through the cloudless summer weather, not able even to 
see the bright blue water in his recumbent position, but staring 
at the square of summer sky, which faded and went out into 
darkness sometimes, and at other times struggled slowly back 
to light and brightness again. A little elderly man, a general 
practitioner of Long Sutton, came to the cabin in his gig three 
times a week, to see this helpless watcher of the changing light; 
came into the room, and sat in the arm-chair by the bed, and 
felt the young man's pulse, watch in hand, while the old wo- 
man of the cottage stood by waiting his instructions. This pro- 
cess was repeated regularly, and with but the slightest altera- 



Lost for Love. 329 

tion. Sometimes the old doctor shook his head despondently, 
sometimes he murmured that things were looking a little 
better. 

"It's wearing work," said the fisherman's old wife; "I'm 
paid to do my duty by him, and I do it, but it's wearing 
work." 

By-and-by came a deeper darkness, in which even that patch 
of summer sky seen through the diamond-paned lattice ceased 
to be. At best it had been meaningless for the patient, but his 
eyes had seen it, and been dimly conscious of its changes. In 
this profounder night of unconsciousness light was not; but 
from this dark abyss his soul struggled upward to a new world. 

One day — one never-to-be-forgotten moment in his life — he 
became conscious of a soft voice murmuring near him, a gentle 
hand laid upon his brow. That rough horny hand of the old 
woman's had been a torment to him many a time, when he had 
no power to discern the nature of the thing that troubled him. 
He lifted his tired eyelids, and looked up and saw a dark face, 
with softly-shining eyes looking down at him. A glass was 
held to his lips, and he drank a deep and long draught of some 
sharp cold drink ; a draught that seemed to him like the wine 
of life. Then without a touch of wonder, he gently murmured, 
" Loo," and closed his eyes and fell asleep. 

Day after day the same tender hands ministered to him, the 
same loving eyes watched him. But his own state was full of 
change. Sometimes he recognized his nurse; sometimes all 
was blank ; sometimes there came fits of violence, when the old 
fisherman and his wife had to come to the nurse's aid. Yet, 
through all, that faithful watcher knew no weariness. Untired, 
devoted, she gave all that love and fidelity can give, without 
stint and without measure. 

This was how Walter Leyburne struggled slowly back to life, 
after that fall from the top of the cliff. It had not been quite 
so bad a fall as it seemed to the agonized spectator above. The 
loose rough clay had broken under his feet, and a mass of it 
had fallen with him, breaking his fall, so that he rather slipped 
down the steeply sloping face of the cliff than fell from top to 
bottom. When Jarred Gurner found him he was breathing 
heavily, unconscious; there were bones broken too, but the 
6pine was uninjured. Jarred's shifty brains at once took in the 
chances of profit involved in the situation. The man might die 
or he might recover. If he died, what a hold Jarred's knowledge 
of the circumstances of his death would give him upon the 
doctor ; provided the doctor were weak enough to shrink from 
the bold avowal of his act ! If Walter Leyburne recovered, on 
the other hand, a little clever manoeuvring might win a rich 



33C Lost for Love. 

husband for Loo. Jarred had aimed at that when he shut his 
daughter out of doors, counting upon the impulsive generosity 
of a hot-headed young man, too much in love to be worldly wise. 
Of the issue of that hazard Jarred was still ignorant, when he 
found Walter Leyburne at Branscomb ; but here was the young 
man fallen into his hands, and it would be strange if he failed 
this time. All these considerations flashed through his mind 1 
as he knelt beside the fallen man, and when he met Dr. Olli- 
vant a few minutes afterwards, his scheme was decided upon, 
his snare was ready. 

It was more difficult to provide for the bestowal of his 
charge; but this he did in the boldest and simplest manner. 
He watched for the first fishing-boat that sailed within earshot 
of the shore, and hailed her, vainly at first, as the crew paid no 
attention to his call, but after a little they seemed to think 
better of it, and brought their boat in to the beach. She was the 
smallest of craft, with only an old man and a boy on board her. 
On her bows was painted, in white letters, " Snowdrop, Liddle- 
comb, J. Burgess," an inscription which was useful to Mr. 
Gurner. 

" My son has had a fall, and hurt his head a bit," said Jarred, 
going close up to the boat ; " if you'll take him as far as Lid- 
dlecomb for me, I'll make it better worth your while than fish- 
ing for the next hour or two." 

The old man scratched his gray head, and protested his wil- 
lingness to earn whatever the stranger might give him. 

" Was it much of a fall, mister ? " he asked, with friendly 
interest. 

" No, not much ; but he fell on his head, yon see, and that 
made it awkward. Come on shore and give me a hand with 
him, !ad," said Jarred to the fisherboy, who was helping his 
grandfather to pull-in the boat. 

Jarued and the boy were both strong, and caried Walter 
Leyburne easily enough between them for fifty yards or so 
from the bottom of the cliff to the boat. Here they laid him 
carefully on an old sail at the bottom of the weather-beaten 
bark, and then the fisherman and his lad trimmed their sail for 
Liddlecomb. Nothing could have been more neatly done, Jar- 
red thought. No one had seen the transaction ; this man and 
boy need be his only confederates, and these two simple crea- 
tures would believe any story he chose to tell them. 

" He looks mortal bad," said J. Burgess of Liddlecomb, glanc- 
ing down at the white blank face lying on the brown sail-cloth- 
"He looks like death." 

" Yes, his head is hurt, poor fellow ; but he'll come round 
after a bit, I daresay. He's young and strong." 



Lost for Love. 331 

" How did it happen, mister P " 

" Well, he was climbing up a hit of that craggy red clay to 
loot at a bird's nest or something — I was lying on the beach 
half asleep, and not paying any attention to him — and he lost 
his footing, I suppose, and slipped backwards. He must have 
ulien on his head, anyhow. He was quite insensible when I 
foun I him ; and there's an arm broken, I'm afraid." 

" A bad job. You're strangers in these parts, I suppose? " 

" Yes; I was never in Devonshire before. We were stopping 
at an inn at Long Sutton, but I hardly like the notion of tak- 
ing my son so far, or to such a noisy place. Do you know of 
any decent house in Liddlecomb where I could get him accom- 
modated? " 

The fisherman scratched his head again meditatively, and then 
said, with diffidence : 

" My old woman has a room she lets, when she can. It's 
clean and it's comfortable — there's a feather-bed that belonged 
to my grandmother — and perhaps that's as much as any one 
could say for it." 

" I shouldn't wonder if it would suit very well," replied 
Jarred, who sat in the bottom of the boat by the lifeless figure 
lying on the sail-cloth. " Your missus would look after this poor 
fellow, I suppose?" 

" Well, yes, I reckon she could. She hasn't much to do 
except keep her place clean, and she does that with a will." 

" And Liddlecomb is a quiet place, I daresay ? " 

" It wouldn't be easy to make much noise there ; there isn't a 
dozen houses altogether, and them fishermen's cottages." 

" Just the very place for a sick man. Could I get any doctor 
to come so far?" 

"Mr. Polford does come over sometimes from Long Sutton. 
He's doctor for our parish." 

" We could get him to set my son's arm, then. I think, Mr. 
Burgess, if your room is really clean and comfortable it might 
suit us." 

This was how Walter Leyburne came to the fisherman's cabin 
at Liddlecomb. He was carried up to the small whitewashed 
chamber that bright June evening, while Flora was watching 
at Branscomb for his return. It was late in August when he 
awoke from the long night of delirium and unconsciousness, and 
found Loo watching by his bed. 

From that time he was hers, and hers only. His love for her 
never wavered. He turned to her in his helplessness as a child 
turns to its mother's breast, almost with the same pure and 
perfect affection. Her presence seemed to bring him healing 
and life. His mind, only half recovered from the shock it had 



332 Lost for Love. 

experienced, remained for some time in a state of comparative 
"weakness. Memory was but faintly awakened ; the past seemed 
dim and remote ; but one fact he was very sure of, and that was 
his love for Louisa Gurner. His most ardent desire — indeed, 
the one thought of his mind — was to make her his wife. He 
would have had their wedding-day earlier by three months than 
it was; it was Loo's insistance only that deferred it. Her 
father urged the folly of such obstinacy. 

" Eeally, Louisa, you are the most pigheaded girl I ever met 
with," Mr. Gurner exclaimed indignantly. " Here have you 
been devoting yourself to this young man for the last four 
months, till you're worn to a threadpaper, and now, when he 
naturally wants to make you the only return he can by mar- 
rying you, you put your back up, and talk of waiting. Waiting 
for what, I should like to know ? " 

" For Walter's mind to be restored, father. He is not in his 
right mind yet ; life seems like a dream to him, and because I 
have nursed him and been with him so long, he fancies he 
cannot live without me. Let us be parted for a little while, and 
when his mind is quite strong again, if he still wishes to marry 
me, I shall be proud and happy to be his wife." 

Loo had her way. She did not go back to Voysey-street, but 
to a quiet little school at Exeter, where among friendly, simple- 
minded people, she contrived to improve herself steadily and 
swiftly. Jarred would not lose sight of his future son-in-law. 
He and Walter went to Switzerland together, and dawdled away 
three months among mountains and valleys, and on the margin 
of vast blue lakes. The London Bohemian felt curiously out of 
place among the sublimities of nature ; the painter let his days 
slip by him in dreamy idleness, disinclined to begin active life 
again, all youthful yearnings for distinction fallen asleep, and 
with but one aspiration remaining to him — the desire for 
reunion with Loo. He counted the days of their severance, 
and looked forward to her letters as the one delight of his life ; 
and Loo's letters, despite her imperfect education, were worth 
having; there was such freedom of expression, such life and 
individuality in them ; and then every letter was a deification of 
that young gentleman dawdling through the slow_ autumn 
hour3 by the Genevese lake; every letter paid him divine 
honours, as it were, and gratified vanity and flattered self-love 
added sweetness to the girls frank careless lines. 

When the three months were over Walter's improvement 
almost warranted Jarred in announcing his complete recovery. 
The two men went back to England, to the grave old city of 
Exeter, where Walter Leyburne and Louisa Gurner were in due 
course quietly married, no one who knew them being present at 



Lost for Love. 333 

the ceremony, save Jarred. They left England on their wed- 
ding-day, to wander at will through all the fairest scenes of 
Europe — "the world forgetting, by the world forgot;" Walter 
perfectly happy in the companionship of a wife who wor- 
shipped him. 

Little by little the mind so nearly wrecked regained its old 
vigour, and Walter Leyburne awoke to the consideration of how 
mean a part he had played, and how weak a dupe he had been 
in the hands of Jarred Gurner. But no consideration that ever 
arose with him lessened his regard for Loo, or his belief in her 
truth ; that never wavered ; no baseness of her father's could 
degrade her in his eyes. He remembered how she had refused 
to be his wife when she stood houseless and friendless by his 
side, loving him as she loved him now; how she had rejected 
him a second time when her care and tenderness had brought 
him back to life ; how honestly and faithfully she had stood 
her ground, and insisted that he should have ample time for 
deliberation before he took the fatal step. Jarred was pensioned 
liberally, and told to forget as much as possible that he had a 
daughter ; to which stern decree Loo added a tearful postscript 
to the effect that she should always remember and love her 
father, and would come to see him whenever she came to 
England. Many a tender letter did Loo write to that faulty 
father in the years of separation that followed her marriage. 

In Venice, Walter read the announcement of Dr. Ollivant's 
marriage. 

"How easily such wounds are healed!" he cried, with a 
cynical laugh. " You thought she would break her heart about 
me, Loo." 

" I should have broken my heart if I had lost you," replied 
that devotee, with an adoring look. 

" And yet you seemed willing to lose me, Loo, for you refused 
me twice." 

" I did not want yon to pick me up out of the gutter, for 
mere pity sake," she answered, " only because I loved you so 
much." 

"If all men could pick up such pearls out of poverty's 
gutter, life would be happier than it is, Loo," said her husband, 
proudly. 



334 Lost for Love. 



CHAPTER XXXVn. 

" Now t the last gasp of Love's latest breath, 

When, his pulse failing, Passion speechless lies, 
When Faith is kneeling by his bed of death, 

And Innocence is closing up his eyes, 
Now, if thou wouldst, when all have given him over, 
From death to life thou mightst him yet recover." 

Never did a given number of miles seem longer to the impatient 
traveller than the distance between Killarney and London 
seemed to Flora, as she journeyed homewards, eager, beyond all 
measure of eagerness, to make atonement to that sinner for 
whom she had been so implacable a judge three little months 
ago. 

Dr. Ollivant's sin, his tacit falsehood, his long- sustained hy- 
pocrisy, was in no wise lessened by the fact of his rival's escape 
from the jaws of death. The doctor's part in this business re- 
mained exactly what it had been before. Yet Flora hastened 
back to England to forgive him — nay more, to entreat his for- 
giveness for her unkindness. But then women are rarely logical; 
the exacter sciences, in all their rigid angularity, have no place 
in the soft curves of a woman's nature. Walter Leyburne dead 
had been a central figure in the fair picture of the past, a memory 
fraught with grief, a bright and faultless shade; but "Walter 
Leyburne living, and, by his own showing, guilty either of 
supreme moral cowardice or utter indifference to her feelings, 
was quite another person. She compared his conduct with her 
husband's, weighed the fickleness of one against the changeless 
constancy of the other, and naturally gave the preference to the 
man who had sinned for her sake, rather than to the man who 
had sinned against her. There was as deep a falsehood in 
Walter's offer of his love to her that summer day at Branscomb, 
while his heart was in reality given to his low-born enchantress, 
as ever there had been in Cuthbert Ollivant's concealment of his 
part in his rival's supposed death. And of the two falsehoods, 
it was easier to Flora to forgive the falsehood of the faithful 
lover. 

Nor was this all. It is more than possible that, in the secret 
chamber of her heart, she had forgiven her husband even before 
Walter's resurrection. Pity, and yearning, and tenderness, and 
remorse for hard words spoken, had been struggling in that 



"Lost for Love. 335 

womanly breast with a truthful woman's scorn ot nntruth. 
Smouldering love needed but the lightest spark to kindle into a 
flame; and, lo, kindly Providence had given her an excuse for 
pardon. She would go back to him and say, " Be happy again, 
repentant sinner ; the accident in which foolish passion involved 
you was not fatal. Your rival lives; no more a rival, and never 
in his brightest hour worthy to be measured against so true a 
lover." 

All through the autumn night — in the sea-passage between 
Waterford and Milford Haven — Flora lay awake, listening to 
the monotonous chorus of the waves, and thinking of the meet- 
ing to which she was journeying. She pictured the scene to 
herself, conjuring up the lonely figure that had haunted her 
among the ash-groves of Inisfallen, amidst the silence of the 
Black Valley. She thought of her husband sitting alone in that 
grave library to which she had gone so often in quest of some 
favourite author, stealing gently in upon his studious reverie, 
and seeing him look up stai-tled, but always pleased at her com- 
ing, always willing to close his book, and come to her assistance, 
to advise, to enlighten, to amuse her. Sweet stolen half-hours 
of companionship in the midst of the busy professional day, 
should she ever know their pleasantness again ? It was only in 
looking baek at them that she had discovered how precious they 
were. 

She pictured him as he would be at midday to-morrow, when 
she had come to the end of her journey, and stole in upon him 
unannounced, just as in the days of her happy wifehood. She 
fancied him sitting at his desk, surrounded by his usual litter 
of books and papers, reading one of the medical journals in 
some pause of his day's labour, and how, at the sound of her 
footstep, he would look up with his calm professional expression, 
just gently sympathetic, as who should say, 'What new traveller 
on the ash- strewed way to death has made my house his halting- 
place?" And she had fancied how, seeing it was no common 
patient, but his repentant wife, who had entered his room, he 
would start up from his chair, doubtful perhaps for a moment 
how he should receive her, and then, instantly subjugated by 
love's old witchery, open wide his arms and fold her to his heart. 
0, sweet, sweet, sweet hour ! never again would she run the 
hazard ot eternal banishment from that fond shelter. 

But what if imagination's picture were unrealized ? What if 
he, so strong to love, should prove himself as powerful in his 
resentment ? What if he should greet her with aversion's stony 
look, point a stern finger to the door, and say, ' Henceforward 
our homes are apart — I have no longer a wife ?" 

These two pictures — one, perhaps, just as likely to be a fore- 



336 Lost for Love. 

cast of the truth as the other— haunted the sleepless traveller all 
through that night of fever and unrest. Such a prolonged agony 
of hope and doubt and fear was concentrated in those few hours, 
that brief as the night was on board the swift steamer it seemed 
almost endless to this anxious traveller. 

She was surprised on landing at Milford to discover that night 
was still "at odds with morning which was which." Faint 
gleams of dawning light, pale and sickly, struggled with the 
yellower glare of the lamps in the great empty station. 

" I hope you slept well, my love," said Mrs. Ollivant, who had 
caught the green hue of the waves in her transit;, and was 
crushed and faded of aspect as if by the passage of years, in- 
stead of six or eight hours at sea. " I know what a good sailor 
you are._ and that you can sleep on board a steamer ;" this with 
a plaintive sigh. 

""No, mamma, I couldn't sleep much; I had so many things to 
think about. But I hope you were not ill," added Flora sym- 
pathetically, sea-sickness being inscribed in unmistakable char- 
acters upon the elder lady's brow. 

"My dear, I was in the hands of Providence," replied Mrs. 
Ollivant gravely, " and the stewardess was very attentive. But 
there was one period of the night when I felt that if we had gone 
to the bottom it would not have signified much to me." 

Through those chill gleams of new-born day, unattractive 
of aspect, like most newly created things, the travellers sped 
onward, across the hilly Welsh country, at first open and pas- 
toral — a sheep country evidently — and anon to districts famous 
for coal and iron, where the earth was overhung with a smoky 
pall, and a general blackness and grimness pervaded everything; 
past English cathedral cities and obscure manufacturing towns; 
leaving the hills behind, and with them the romance and charm 
of the laudscape ; into the verdant rural home counties with 
their somewhat tea-board prettiness; by the rushy river that 
winds below the gentle slopes of Caversham, across the bridge 
that spans the same bright river by pleasant Maidenhead — 
favourite resort of the tired Londoner — and so onward till the 
clear autumn air thickens over the multitudinous roofs of the 
mighty city. 

They were at Paddington — Mrs. Ollivant looking a monument 
of Neptune's inhumanity; Flora pale as death, but with a 
bright resolute look in eye and lip. 

" Mamma," she said, in a quick decided way, a few minutes 
before they reached the terminus, " you take a cab and the 
luggage, and drive across to Waterloo, and go on to Teddington 
by the first train that will take you there. I know how anxious 
you are about the house." 



Lost for Love. 337 

" But you'll come with me, won't you, Flora P" 

" No, mamma, I shall drive straight to Wimpole- street, to 
Cuthbert. If all goes well, I shall persuade him to come to 

" Willows with me in time for dinner. If we do not come by 
that time, you may know that he has refused to forgive me. 
But in that case I shall come home alone, most likely." 

" My dear child, how can you doubt his forgiveness ? He 
has never blamed you in my hearing. He has always taken all 
blame upon himself." 

" It is his nature to be generous," answered Flora gravely. 
" I do not say that he has been altogether blameless, but I have 
been too hard in judging the one error of his life. I have for- 
gotten how much I owe him, what manifold reasons I have for 
gratitude, and indulgence, and love." 

^" Go to him, dear, and be assured of his forgiveness. I shall 
look forward anxiously for your arrival at the Willows. Dinner 
at seven, I suppose, as usual ? And I will take care to have 
everything nice," added Mrs. Ollivant, full of maternal solici- 
tude, and not a little agitated by the prospect of reconciliation 
between those two whom she loved so well ; yet anxious withal 
upon the question of fish and the possibilities of partridges. 
These sordid material things have their influence upon the 
spiritual half of existence, mind and matter being curiously 
interwoven in our lower nature. A good dinner is not without 
its function in domestie life, and an offended husband is more 
prone to the melting mood after soles au maitre d'hotel and a 
well-roasted partridge than after the frugal housewife's leg of 
mutton and caper-sauce. 

.So the two ladies took separate cabs at Paddington terminus ; 
Mr s. Ollivant driving to Waterloo, under a perilous mountain, 
of portmanteaus, Flora to Wimpole-street. 

How slowly the rumbling old four-wheeled cab drove ' Itwaa 
such a little way, yet the first half of the journey seemed long. 
But when she saw the familiar Marylebone-road and the well- 
known street-corners, Flora's heart grew heavy with an awful 
fear, and she would gladly have lengthened the distance be- 
tween her and the home she had so longed to reach. The cab 
turned into Wimpole-street with many a jolt and groan. There 
were the two rows of monotonous houses staring each other 
out of countenance, the whitened doorsteps, the shining brass- 
plates on professional doors, the balcony boxes, with their 
scarlet geranium and fading mignonette, the plate-glass win- 
dows and invariable draperies — crimson damask below, white 
muslin above — here a birdcage, there a man or maid-servant 
looking out, like Sisera's mother at her lattice — and then Flora's 
heart gave a great thump, as the cab, after plunging uncer- 

Y 



338 Lost for Love. 

tainly at the kerbstone once or twice, came to a standstill op- 
posite Dr. Ollivant's door. 

His house looked the dingiest in the street. The doorsteps 
had been neglected — those broad expanses of stone which had 
once been of spotless whiteness, which had been hearthstoned 
twice a day, if need were, under Mrs. Ollivant's firm rule. 
There were straws and shreds of London rubbish in the cor- 
ners; the brass-plate was dull; the geraniums in the dining- 
room window-boxes were languishing for lack of water; the 
half-drawn blinds hung awry. Desolation was imprinted upon 
the house front — for the fronts of houses have their unmis- 
takable language. 

Flora's heart sank at the aspect of her old home. The change 
was her fault. She had robbed her husband of the faithful 
housewife who had made his home bright and pleasant for 
him ; for her selfish pleasure Mrs. Ollivant had deserted the 
post of duty, and left her son homeless. A neglected house is 
no home. 

The factotum opened the door as usual ; but even he had 
an air of having run to seed. He wore his morning jacket of 
striped linen, instead of the respectable black which it had been 
his wont to assume ere this hour of the day, and the jacket 
looked limp and dirty. The man himself had a haggard look, 
as of one who had kept late hours. 

Flora said not a word, but crossed the hall to the consulting- 
room, opened the door, and went in ; heedless of whether she 
might interrupt some professional interview by that unauthor- 
ized entrance. 

The room was empty. The papers on the doctor's desk were 
blown about as the autumn wind rushed in from the halL 
There stood his vacant chair, dusty as with the dust of many 
days ; that solemn-looking, morocco-covered, high-backed arm- 
chair, in which the physician had been wont to sit as in the 
place of judgment, and issue sentence of life or death. A pile 
of unopened letters lay on the desk : a spider had spun a gos- 
samer bridge from stopper to stopper of the tarnished silver 
inkstand. 

" ma'am," gasped the butler, " I'm thankful to Providence 
that you've come home ! If I'd known where to write I should 
have written to you, or your mamma-in-law, within the last 
three or four days, though my master ordered me not." 

" Write to me — about what ? " cried Flora, sorely agitated. 

Something evil had arisen — what she knew not. The aspect 
of the house presaged calamity. 

" Is Dr. Ollivant away ? " she asked breathlessly. 

The room looked as if it had been deserted for weeks. 



Lost for Love. 339 

" Away ? O no, ma'am : he's too ill for that." 

"Ill— is he ill?" 

" Didn't he tell you, ma'am, in his letters P He told me he 
had said all that was necessary about himself, and that I was 
not to trouble about writing to you even if he got ever so 
bad ; but just to bring in a hospital nurse, and leave him in 
Mr. Darley's hands — Mr. Darley of Bedford- square, you know, 
ma'am — and let him pull through." 

" What is the matter ? Pray, pray tell me everything ! Is he 
very ill ? " asked Flora piteously. 

O tenderness, forgiveness, remorse, that came too late ! 

" God have pity on me," she prayed inwardly, "and save me 
from the anguish of unavailing regret ! " 

"Well, ma'am, I hope not very ill; but Mr. Darley owned 
last night that he didn't like the turn master had taken, and he 
sent me for Dr. Bayne, round in the square, and the two gen- 
tlemen was together talking for nearly half an hour, and they 
changed the medicine — which is a thing I never like, for my 
own part, doctors chopping and changing with medicine, as if 
they didn't know their own minds — and Mr. Darley told me to 
get in an extra nurse for night ; and there I was in a cab half 
over London till after midnight ; but I got a young person at 
last at the institution at Highbury, and a very nice young 
person she is." 

" Has he been ill long ? " Flora asked, taking off her hat and 
jacket hastily with trembling hands. 

" Over three weeks, ma'am, off and on. It began with a 
chill, shivery-like, and then a kind of low fever hanging about 
him — no appetite, no rest. I could tell when I cleaned the 
lamp of a morning how many hours he'd sat in this room over- 
night. But he saw his patients, and went his daily round just 
as usual for a week ; then all at once he knocked under, and 
took to his bed. It's no use," he said ; " tell people who call 
that I'm out of town. I'll ask Mr. Darley to see my regular 
patients. And I went to fetch Mr. Darley, and he has attended 
master ever since." 

" I'll go to him at once," said Flora, moving towards the 
stairs. 

The man followed her nervously. 

"I'm afraid you'll find him very bad, ma'am," he said. 
" You must be prepared to see a great change in him." 

" I am prepared for. anything," she answered with a sob, 
" except to lose him." 

And then she ran np-stairs, swift and light of footstep, 
making no sound upon the thickly-carpeted stone. 

She opened the door of the front room on the second-floor — 



340 Lost for Love. 

the room that had been newly furnished for the doctor's bride — 
expecting to find the invalid there. But to her surprise she saw 
the furniture swathed in brown holland, the room empty. All 
things had been kept with religious care ; the dressing-room, 
with its turquoise- and-gold upholstery, was shrouded from dust 
and light; carpet, curtains, mirrors, all covered. The rooms 
she had sanctified by her presence were to be profaned by no 
footfall in her absence. So near fanaticism is true love ! 

The back room on this floor was Mrs. Ollivant's, and the door 
■was locked. Flora mounted the next flight swiftly, breath- 
lessly, and opened the door of that room where she had 
awakened one winter afternoon from the long night of delirium. 
Tes, he was there ; on the bed where she had lain through so 
many fever-haunted nights reposed the wasted form of her 
deserted husband. She could see the sharp angles of his figure 
beneath the tumbled bedclothes. The nurse was sitting at a 
table by the window taking notes of her case. A clock ticked 
upon the mantel-piece, a pinched little fire burned in the grate, 
the room was littered with medicine bottles, all the apparatus 
of sickness ready— weapons whereby Life does battle with his 
grim adversary, Death. 

He was awake ; the large hollow eyes were turned towards 
the door by which Flora entered, but with how vacant a gaze J 
He looked at her, and did not know her. 

She went over to the bed, knelt down beside it, took his burn- 
ing hand in hers, whispered to him softly, kissed his parched 
lips. Without avail. There was no one in this wide world 
more strange to him than she. 

" Another nurse ! " he said wearily. " What is the use of all 
this fuss ? " 

"Not a hired nurse, Cuthbert; your wife — your sorrowful, 
loving wife — come back to nurse you. Look at me, dear. Tour 
own true wife has returned, never to leave you again." 

He turned his haggard eyes to her face, and stared at her 
fixedly, without one ray of recognition. 

" What is the good of all these people ? " he exclaimed. " I 
had better be in a hospital at once, if my room is to be full of 
hospital nurses. Go away, please," to Flora ; " and leave me in 
peace, if you can. You are always tormenting me about some- 
thing." 

The nurse, who had started up, surprised at Flora's entrance, 
now came forward, and took possession of the intruder, with a 
professional air of authority. 

" Oh, if you please, ma'am, you mustn't talk to him. The 
doctors say he must be kept very quiet." 

«• But I am his wife " 



Lost for Love. 341 

" Yes, ma'am, and your coming in so suddenly might have 
given him a shock if he had known you. Perhaps it was lucky 
he didn't recognise you." 

" Lucky ! " repeated Flora with a blank look. " Will he ever 
know me again, I wonder? " 

" dear, yes ; don't be afraid, ma'am," answered the nurse 
cheerfully ; it was so easy for a hired nurse, who came and went 
like the wind, to be cheerful ; " he'll come round again, and 
remember you, I daresay, before long. I have seen worse cases 
of typhoid than him." 

" But he is dangerously ill, is he not ? " asked Flora hope- 
lessly. 

" The doctors are anxious about him, ma'am ; but with 

care It is not a hopeless case. You mustn't think that, 

ma'am. Pray don't ! " 

" What have you been writing there? " 

" Only my journal of the case, ma'am. The doctors wish me 
to keep an account of everything the patient takes — a spoonful 
of jelly or an ounce of beef-tea. I give him everything in that 
two-ounce glass. It's most important that he should take 
nourishment and be kept quiet." 

" Does his mind wander much P " 

" No, ma'am, not very bad ; but he sometimes says odd 
things. He has talked of you a great deal in the last few days, 
and has sometimes fancied you were in the room." 

" And now I have come he does not know me. That seema 
hard." 

" He may know you by-and-by, ma'am," said the nurse con- 
solingly. " He changes very quickly." 

"If you could let me do something for him; if I could be of 
use, in any way," pleaded Flora. 

" Indeed, ma'am, there is very little to be done. You might 
help me, perhaps, when I have to give him medicine, or wine, or 
beef-tea. He dislikes taking anything, and it is sometimes quite 
difficult to get him to take it." 

" I will gladly help you in any way," said Flora eagerly. " I 
shall feel less miserable if I can be of ever so little use. May I 
stay in the room, please ? — I will be very quiet." 

All this was spoken in so subdued a tone that the sound 
of the two voices could hardly reach the bed where the patient 
lay, moving head or arms restlessly, every now and then, in 
utter weariness. 

"The doctor said he was to be kept so very quiet, ma'am; 
there was to be nobody but the nurse in his room ; but if you 
will not talk or move about much, I should think you might 
etay." 



342 IfOst far Love. 

It seemed a hard thing to deny a wife the right to sit in her 
dying husband's chamber, for the nurse had but the faintest 
hope of a happy issue out of Dr. Ollivant's peril. It was not 
the virulence of the disease that was to be feared so much as 
the weakness of the patient. He had not cared to live, and he 
had let life slip away from him. He had wasted the wealth 
of a vigorous constitution upon long nights of sleeplessness ; 
weariest vigils, full of sad thoughts and bitter vain regrets. 
He had wilfully squandered the forces of his manhood, reckless 
of his loss. Life without Flora meant misery. He had been 
too much of a man to end the difficulty with a dose of prussic 
acid or a pistol bullet ; but he had not been enough of a Chris- 
tian to trust in God for the coming of the brighter day ; and he 
had been glad when he felt his strength ebbing away from him, 
and saw his years dwindling to the briefest span. Of what 
avail was that empty arid future which lies between ruined 
hopes and the grave ? His wife had renounced him. His child 
had been taken from him. No other child would ever be born 
to him, to be the staff and comfort of his age. He had earned 
more than enough to secure the independence of his mother's 
declining years. There was no reason why he should desire life, 
either on his own account or for the sake of others. So when 
he found his strength leaving him, and the insidious low fever 
— a poison, inhaled perchance in hospital ward or fetid alley, 
acting upon a debilitated constitution — that fever whose danger 
he knew so well, fastening its deadly grip upon him, he had no 
sentiment but gladness. 

" She will feel just a shade of sorrow, perhaps," he said to 
himself, "when somebody tells her that I am dead; just one 
brief pang of regret for him who loved as Othello loved — not 
wisely. And then some new bright life will open before her ; 
and a few years hence, when she has formed new ties, and is 
the centre of some happy home, she will look back at her past, 
and all the days that she spent with me will seem only a brief 
unfinished chapter in the full volume of her life. To me it has 
been the whole book ; to her it may appear only an episode." 

Thus Cuthbert Ollivant had laid himself down very calmly 
when the hour came in which he could no longer perform his 
daily task-work. It was not until he felt a cloud stealing over 
mind and senses, and his wits wandering as he tried to concen- 
trate his attention upon a patient's answers to his almost 
mechanical questioning, that the doctor felt it was time for him 
to succumb. Physical weakness or weariness would have hardly 
driven him away from his consulting-room — he clung to his 
work as the one thing left to him in life — but when he felt his 
mind troubled, and found his hand falter uncertainly in the 



Lost for Love. 343 

writing of a simple prescription, he was fain to confess that his 
working days were over. 

" Opus operatum est," he said to himself. " My career is 
nnished, and it stops short of fame." 

He went up-stairs to his room on the third floor, one bright 
September afternoon, and laid himself down upon his bed, with 
a quiet conviction that this was for him the end of all earthly 
business. He would fain have let life gently glide away without 
wearisome endeavour to revive the expiring flame, and it was 
only to satisfy his faithful old servant that he allowed Mr. 
Darley to be called in. 

This gentleman, a family practitioner of standing, had done 
his best, but the malady had not yielded to his skill. The- 
patient's weakness had increased day after day, and Mr. Darley 
had confessed unwillingly that the time of peril had come. 
Unless a change for the better occurred before many hours were- 
over, the end was inevitable. 

It was at this crisis that Flora arrived in Wimpole-street. 

All that day she sat by her husband's bed, in the shadow of 
the curtains, and heard his restless movements, his broken 
murmured words — disjointed sentences, in which her own name 
sometimes occurred, but which were at other times purely scien- 
tific, with here and there a few words of Latin. She made no 
farther effort to win his recognition. The nurse had told her 
silence and quiet were of vital consequence, and she oDeyed to 
the letter. With her heart yearning towards that unconscious 
sufferer, she sat quietly in her shadowy corner, breathing voice- 
less prayers for his recovery. It was only after seven o'clock 
that she thought of poor Mrs. Ollivant, at this moment 
placidly expecting her son and daughter at the Willows. " Poor 
mamma," she said to herself, " I ought to telegraph to her. 
How cruel of me not to have sent for her sooner ; how cruel to 
keep her away from her son's sick-bed ! " She stole noiselessly 
from the room, ran down-stairs to the old servant, and de- 
spatched him to the telegraph-office with a message : 

" Dear mamma, Cuthbert is very ill. Come at once." 

At eight o'clock came Mr. Darley, and Dr. Bayne from Caven- 
dish-square. How Flora's heart sank as the two grave elderlj 
men came into the room, and bent over the sick-bed, and ordered. 
a candle to be brought, and examined their patient, with a pro- 
fessional unceremoniousness that seemed like sacrilege ! They 
listened to his breathing, and tapped his chest and back, and 
experimented with him in various ways, and anon looked at each 
other gravely, and whispered a little together with dismal mean- 
ing, as it seemed to Flora. She sat motionless, saying not a 
word, and neither of the doctors had any idea of her presence, 



S4A Lost for Love. 

till the nurse informed them in a whisper that young Mrs. 
Ollivant had come home, and wished to be allowed to help in 
nnrsing her husband. 

Then the two gentlemen turned to her with a friendly sympa- 
thetic air, and murmured a few kindly words, but words that 
had no hopefulness in them. 

Flora heard them in silence, and then followed them out of 
the room. 

" Gentlemen," she cried piteously, when they were on the 
landing outside, " tell me the truth ! "Will my husband die ? " 

"My dear Mrs. Ollivant," said Dr. Bayne, who had been 
a frequent visitor in Wimpole- street during her happy wedded 
life, "while the faintest spark of life still remains there is 
always a ray of hope ; but I fear — I sadly fear my poor friend 
is dying." 

She looked at him tearlessly for a few moments, and then 
said gently, 

" I thank you for telling me the truth. It is best." 

She went back to her husband's room — in the abandonment 
of her grief forgot all that she had been told about the need of 
quietness — and flung herself on her knees by his side. 

" My love, my love," she sobbed, " my lost love ! Is there 
no forgiveness in heaven for my sin against you ?" 

Her voice, those keen accents of anguish, pierced the dim- 
ness of delirium. Cuthbert Ollivant opened his eyes and looked 
at her, this time with recognition in his gaze. 

" Flora ! " he murmured faintly. 

There was neither surprise nor joy in his tone. In his utter 
weakness of mind and body he had passed beyond the region of 
strong emotions. 

" My love, it is I — your wife — your sorrowful, repentant 
wife!" 

" No," he said, with ever so faint a touch of wonder ; " that 
cannot be ; my wife hates me." 

She remembered her words in the garden that fatal summer 
evening — words of unmitigated hatred and contempt; worda 
keener than a sword thrust, and harder to forget. 

" My dearest, I was unjust, cruel, ungrateful," sobbed Flora. 
" It has pleased God to open my eyes to my wickedness. I 
have something to tell you about Walter by-and-by ; something 
that will set your mind at rest. live, dearest ; live, for my 
sake ; and all my life to come shall be one long atonement." 

He contemplated her mutely for a few moments, with a 
etrangely pathetic look, and then answered quietly : 

" Too late, my dear. The pitcher is broken at the fountain." 



Lost for Love. 345 



CHAPTER XXXVIII. 

" There is a deep nick in Time's restless wheel 
For each man's good ; when which nick comes, it strikes : 
As rhetoric yet works not persuasion, 
But only is a mean to make it work ; 
So no man riseth by his real merit, 
But when in cries clink in his Raiser's spirit." 

*' Fate hath no voice but the heart's impulsea." 

Having once, in a fortunate hour, made a halt upon the road 
to rain, Jarred Gurner seemed fairly disposed to stop short 
altogether upon that broad highway, and to turn his steps 
towards that narrower and more thorny path which honest 
industry travels, not altogether without cheering sunshine or 
mild refreshing shower. 

The sight of his daughter, refined and beautified by her 
three years of prosperous married life, the thought of his 
bonny lass Loo made a lady, and yet not too proud to own 
and love him, had not been without a wholesome effect. 

" Hang it all !" he exclaimed, after that unexpected visit of 
Mrs. Leyburne's in Yoysey-street, •' come what may, I won't 
disgrace Loo ; no abusive snob shall ever put her out of coun- 
tenance by calling her father a welsher. I'll try and make 
both ends meet with the three hundred a year Ley burn e allows 
me, and I'll live like an artist and a gentleman. And the first 
step in that direction," added Jarred, with a touch of rancour, 
" shall be to shut up that blessed rag-shop down-stairs." 

The second-hand wardrobe had been ever a bone of conten- 
tion between Mrs. Gurner and her son. It was a trade against 
■which Jarred's soul revolted. He hated the look of the tawdry 
finery hanging in the window; he was suspicious of the women 
•who came, generally sheltered by the shades of evening, to buy 
or sell. The traffic might add a few shillings to the weekly 
stock, but its tawdry disreputability was poorly atoned for by 
the shillings that dribbled through Mrs. Gurner's hands, and 
served to pay the milkman, or propitiate the chandler with a 
trifle on account. 

Jarred went down-stairs at once, and into the shop, where he 
made a contemptuous survey of his mother's stock-in-trade, set 



346 Lost for Love. 

forth and displayed in a manner which Mrs. Gurner considered 
" taking:" a limp blue- gauze ball-dress, crowned with a crum- 
pled wreath of artificial camellias; a pair of soiled white satin 
shoes, daintily placed side by side with a dilapidated fan ; a 
rusty black moire-antique gracefully draped with a ragged yak- 
lace shawl; a ruby-velvet bonnet, perched on the top of an 
imitation-sable muff, suggestive of comfortable attire for the 
coming winter. 

" I suppose, taking them in the heap, they might realise a 
five-pound note," mused Jarred. 

Mrs. Gurner emerged from her retirement on the other side 
of a screen of drapery, and confronted her son with an injured 
air. She had been reading the seventeenth number of Mabel 
Mandeville, or the Duchess's Death-Warrant, in a comfortable 
corner, sheltered from autumn's sharpening breezes by a 
tumbled velvet paletot and a silk dress or two hanging on a 
clothes-horse. 

" You've no call to depreciate the stock, Jarred," she said. 
" Tou had the full benefit of that one pound seventeen-and- 
sixpence I got for the voylet satin, and if it hadn't been for 
that money we should have been left without a drop of water 
for the tea-kettle. The collector called that very afternoon, 
quite out of patience." 

" That's all very well, mother, but how many one pound 
seventeen-and-sixpences have we ever got out of this blessed 
hole ? Half-a-crown or three-and- sixpence has been about your 
biggest line, in a general way." 

" It has been a help, Jarred." 

" Perhaps it has, but I mean to try if we can't do without 
such helps in future. I've always detested the business, you 
know, and the class of people it brings about us, whether they're 
lady's-maids out of place, or something worse ; and now that 
Loo has come home, as good a lady as any in the land, I've 
made up my mind to shut up shop. So you may just put your 
rags together, and call in some one to value them, and then sell 
'em offhand." 

" There's the good-will of the business, Jarred, if you think 
of moving," suggested Mrs. Gurner dolefully. 

" The good-will of a business that brings in something under 
fifteen shillings a week at its best ! " ejaculated Jarred contemp- 
tuously. " Besides, I don't think of moving; I mean to furnish 
this room decently as a parlour, instead of pigging in that hole 
at the back; and in short, mother, though I daresay you won't 
believe me, I mean to turn over a new leaf, and live like an 
artist and an honest man." 

" I'm sure I'm very glad to hear you say as much, Jarred," 



Lost for Love. 347 

replied Mrs. Gurner, with an emphasis on the word " say." 
" Three hundred a year ought to be enough for us to live upon 
comfortably, and keep up a genteel appearance." 

" I don't know about the genteel appearance," said Mr. Gur- 
ner doubtfully. If it means living in a terrace of tabbies and 
government clerks, and going to church on Sunday mornings, 
it's out of my line. Voysey-street does well enough for me." 

Mrs. Gurner heaved a plaintive sigh. 

" It isn't Voysey-street I'm afraid of, Jarred," she said, " but 
Ihe publics in the neighbourhood. You'll never be free from 
temptation while you live within five minutes' walk of th4 
King's Head." 

Jarred laughed this remonstrance to scorn. 

" Do you suppose that a tavern-parlour is an institution 
peculiar to the neighbourhood of Voysey-street, mother?" he 
asked. " There are publics in your virtuous suburbs — yes, and 
sporting publics, too — in spite of the tabbies. But I do 
honestly mean to cut the turf. It has never brought me luck. 
I haven't the right sort of brains for book-making. It wants 
your stolid plodding dullard to make a Napoleon of the turf. I 
never was good at figures. Art and arithmetic won't run in 
double harness." 

Comforted by this view of things, Mr. Gurner felt equal to 
turning his back upon the sporting public and the ring. It was 
a consoling sensation to feel himself too good for that kind of 
life, and to ascribe his failure to a superior genius. Nor had 
his friends of the turf behaved particularly well to him of 
late. Even Mr. Jobury, that mildest of butchers, had for- 
gotten himself so far as to use insulting reference with regard 
to the nonpayment of that crown-piece borrowed on Hampton 
racecourse ; a paltry sum, which no gentleman would have de- 
graded himself by remembering. His coffers being replenished 
by a handsome gift from Louisa, Jarred devised the most cut- 
ting manner of repaying the trifling loan, loftily ignoring 
divers previous amounts, which would have swollen the crown 
to a five-pound note. He called at Mr. Jobury's one day at 
the family dinner-hour, and delivered the five shillings with 
sundry halfpence, neatly wrapped in paper, and delicately 
sealed, to the small domestic who opened the door, requesting 
the maiden, in a voice intended to be audible in Mr. Jobury's 
parlour, to inform her master that he refunded herewith the 
loan Mr. Jobury had been so uneasy about, principal and in- 
terest to date, and that he would be obliged for a receipt in full 
at Mr. Jobury's convenience. 

This message, delivered in Jarred's haughtiest tone, meant 
eternal divorcement between Jobury and Gurner. Three daya 



348 Lost for Love. 

afterwards Mr. Gurner received an unmistakably feminine 
epistle, in a scratchy caligraphy, beginning with Mr. Jobury s 
compliments, and finishing in the first person with small i'a, 
requesting the repayment of those other moneys which Mr. 
Gurner stood indebted to his quondam friend. But of this 
somewhat vituperative composition Jarred discreetly avoided all 
acknowledgment. 

Having thus dissevered himself from his bosom friend, Jarred 
felt that he was on his way to the Temple of Virtue. The sight 
of his daughter had moved him deeply. Her grace, her refine- 
ment, awakened in him a new disgust for his own sordid life ; 
her affection, unchanged and unchanging, touched some gentler 
chord in his nature. He remembered remorsefully how little 
he had ever done to culture so bright a flower ; how this poor 
child had grown up like Cinderella, amidst dirt and ashes, 
without even a fairy godmother ; and how small a right he had 
to the love she yielded him so freely. 

" I suppose you had to come to me on the sly, my girl," he 
said to his daughter that night in Voysey-street. 

" No, father, I never have any secrets from Walter," she an- 
swered gently. " We only reached London at four o'clock this 
afternoon. We are staying at the Charing Cross for a few 
days before we start for our autumn tour, and directly after 
dinner I sent for a cab and came here to you. Grandmother 
was so pleased to see me. It seemed like old times; except 
that there was no nagging," added Loo, with a smile. 

" But your husband didn't like your coming here, I'll war- 
rant." said Jarred moodily. 

" Well, no father, honestly he would keep us apart if he 
could. He hasn't quite forgiven you for keeping him in hiding 
all the time he was ill. He thinks that through your conduct 
on that occasion he has been made to play a paltry part towards 
that poor young lady, Miss Chamney." 

"Why what a blessed fool you are, Loo!" exclaimed her 
father, with mingled aggravation and contempt. " Don't you 
know that he would have married that poor young lady but for 
my coup d'etat ? If I had not contrived to make Dr. Ollivant 
believe he was dead and done for, young Leyburne would 
have been taken home to Mr. Chamney's house, and nursed 
and petted and cried over by the young lady ; and then when 
he got well of course he'd have married her, as in duty bound, 
and been miserable ever afterwards, since any one with an eye 
in their head could have told that you were the only woman he 
ever cared for. There never was such a pigheaded, ungrateful 
girl as yon, Loo, for looking at things in the wrong light. If it 
badn't been for my seizing upon the chance that Providence 



Lost for Love. 349 

flung in my way, you'd never have been Walter Leyburne's 
wife ! " 

" I know that, father, and the knowledge of it has given me 
many a miserable hour. I owe all my happiness to a trick. I 
feel as if we had set a snare for Walter, and that I was the 
meanest of women in marrying him." 

" You couldn't have married him if he hadn't asked you, and 
he wouldn't have married you if he hadn't loved you better 
than any one else," retorted Jarred, with ever-increasing con- 
tempt. " But I think you might be grateful to the man who 
saved your lover from his entanglement with another woman, and 
brought you and him together, by one happy stroke of business. 
If I'd been a sleepy kind of a customer, and let the golden oppor- 
tunity slip by me, you wouldn't be Mrs. Walter Leyburne." 

Touched by this reproof, Loo put her arms round her father's 
neck, and kissed him as tenderly as at their first greeting. 

" Dear father, I am not ungrateful," she said ; " I know that 
all you did was done for my sake. Only " 

" Only, you are ashamed to remember that you owe all your 
good fortune to your poor old father's help. Never mind, Loo„ 
it is but the way of the world. When a man. has mounted 
a ladder, the first thing he does is to kick it down. I'm not 
offended, and I'm not surprised." 

Jarred stood upon his dignity for a few minutes after this, 
and Loo had some slight difficulty in bringing him round 
again to his pleasanter humour. But he could not long resist 
the blandishments of the daughter who had been made a lady. 
She had an air and a grace that were so new to him. Her 
voice, always rich and full, had now a subdued sweetness that 
moved him like music. The wandering life she had led with 
her artist husband, the communion with all that is love- 
liest and grandest in nature, the study of all that is purest and 
noblest in art, had been a higher educational process than any 
formal scholastic routine ever devised by mortal teacher, and 
Loo had profited by her opportunities of culture. Jarred'a 
rugged nature succumbed to a new influence. At parting that 
night, Loo slipped her purse into her father's hand. 

" It's only a little of my pocket-money, father," she said, 
" but I daresay it may be useful." 

" My dear, it will," replied Jarred frankly. 

" And by-and-by, if I can persuade Walter to stop in Eng- 
land, and settle down to his work, and make a name for himself, 
as I am sure he could, I shall be able to come to see you very 
often, father," Loo said tenderly. " You would like me to 
come, wouldn't you ? " 

" Like you to come ! Why, what else in the world have I to 



350 Lost for Love. 

be fond of or proud of, Loo? And you know I always was 
proud of you, my lass ; not that I ever thought you'd grow 
up such a beauty." 
_ " And perhaps Walter might be of some use to you profes- 
sionally," continued Loo, blushing at the paternal praise. " He 
could recommend you to people who want pictures restored, or 
violins doc — renovated," said Loo, tripping a little over the 
dubious word. 

" Perhaps he might, my dear, if he cared to take so much 
trouble," replied Jarred, rather stiffly. 

And thus father and daughter had parted, a day or two 
before Mr. and Mrs. Leyburne left London for that pleasant 
leisurely tour which brought them ultimately to the Irish 
lakes. 

It was the remembrance of this interview with his daughter 
which inspired Jarred with the yearning for a life somewhat 
more decent in tone than the loose fragmentary existence he 
had been leading for the last year or two. He did not sigh for 
actual respectability —days and nights regulated by the clock ; 
meals at stated hours ; a ten-roomed house in the suburbs ; a 
bed of geraniums in a garden fourteen feet by twelve ; and a 
parlour-maid with a white apron. These things had no attrac- 
tion for him. But it had somehow entered into his mind that 
there was a better life within his capacity than that downhill 
career which he had been travelling with such companions as 
Joseph Jobury and that gentleman's particular circle. Nay, 
evoked from some hidden depths in his nature, there had shone 
forth of late stray gleams of manhood and independence. That 
five-pound note earned from Mr. Ahasuerus, the violin dealer, 
by his own patient labour had been sweeter to him than Dr. 
Ollivant's hush-money, or even largesse from Walter Ley- 
burne, on whose purse a father-in-law had some claim. 

Jarred called in the nearest auctioneer without delay, and 
&sked his advice as to the disposal of the second-hand wardrobe. 
Mr. Plyson, the auctioneer, who was experienced in the sale and 
barter of petty stocks-in-trade, looked about him dubiously for 
a minute or so before replying. 

" How long have you had the business ? " he asked Mr. 
Gurner. 

" It's my mother's business, not mine," answered Jarred 
contemptuously. " She's been trading in these blessed rags 
for the last nineteen or twenty years, I believe." 

" Then why not sell the stock and good-will together P" 
asked the auctioneer. 

" That's what I say," ejaculated Mrs. Gurner dolefully. 



Lost for Love. 351 

" Ptit an advertisement in Lloyd's Weekly — A genteel old- 
established business, admirably adapted to a widow or two 
sisters. Only a small capital required. Nothing degrading 
to the feelings." 

" That's how I've always looked at it," moaned Mrs. Gurner. 

"The stock by itself would hardly realise ten pounds, I 
should think," said the professional valuer ; " but the stock 
and good-will ought to bring fifty." 

" If you put it in that light, I'm agreeable," answered 
Jarred. " I don't know that I wouldn't as leave live any- 
where else, provided I can get a north light." 

The matter was decided on the spot. The auctioneer was to 
find a purchaser for the business, and a tenant for the house, 
in one and the same person, and Mrs. Gurner and her son were 
to transport their household goods to some new abode. So 
cleverly did this accomplished agent manage matters, that in 
less than three weeks he reappeared in Yoysey-street with two 
maiden sisters, whose minds were set upon a genteel business, 
and who entertained Mrs. Gurner's ideas about the vulgarity of 
scales and weights. To these two spinsters, sallow of com- 
plexion and sour of aspect, Mr. Plyson exhibited Mrs. Gurner's 
account-books, and demonstrated by a species of arithmetical 
conjuration that the business had been an eminently remunera- 
tive one during that lady's lengthened career. He dwelt much 
upon the ladies' wardrobe having been established twenty 
years, whereby he argued its unchequered prosperity; and 
was altogether so convincing, that the elderly spinsters, after 
coming backwards and forwards several times, and " mauling 
about " the stock-in-trade, as Jarred called it, ultimately agreed 
to give five-and-forty pounds for the stock and good-will, 
and to become propiietors, as annual tenants, of the house and 
lodgers, " all unfurnished and permanencies," Mrs. Gurner re- 
marked proudly. 

Mrs. Gurner was ravished at the prospect of removal to a 
new abode. Her dreams were haunted by visions of eight- 
roomed tenements at Brompton or South Kensington — dis- 
tricts which nowadays represent a distinction without a differ- 
ence. She thought seriously of the Kennington-road, and had 
her fancies about Camberwell; and in her daily tasks and 
nightly slumbers she was pursued by the image of a nice little 
bit of garden, which, with the natural yearning of a soul long 

Erisoned in a labyrinthine wilderness of brick and mortar, she 
ad set her mind upon possessing. 

" It would be such an interest for you, Jarred," she pleaded, 
" and so good for your health, to do a little gardening of a 
morning before breakfast, if it was only to train a scarlet-runner. 



352 Lost for Love. 

You'd enjoy your roll and your rasher, or your Yarmouth 
bloater ever so much better for a breath of fresh air." 

" Well, I shouldn't mind a bit of a grass-plat, and a tree to 
smoke my pipe under," said Jarred yieldingly. 

" Or an arbour, Jarred, with a nice little table in it, and all 
comfortable. Hops grow so quickly, and climb so gracefully." 

" Yes, and so do slugs and spiders," grunted Jarred with a 
cynical air. 

" Do you remember that arbour at Cricklewood, where we 
had tea one Sunday afternoon, ever so many years ago, when 
you took me for an outing, Jarred ? We did so enjoy ourselves, 
and it was quite romantic and rural-like to hear the cows 
lowing in the meadows, and see the hansoms driving past to 
the Welsh Harp." 

" I'll tell you what," said Jarred, after a few thoughtful 
•whiffs of his pipe, " I wouldn't mind a nice little detached 
cottage, where we could be snug and comfortable and all to 
ourselves, and "where Loo could come to see us when she had 
the mind, without having a pack of street-boys and magging 
old women staring at her. But I won't have anything to say 
to Brompton or South Kensington ; that sounds too much like 
tabbies and psalm-singing." 

" Besides which, I'm afraid the rents would be beyond us in 
that neighbourhood," replied Mrs. Gurner, ready to concede 
any point now that Jarred seemed inclined to satisfy the desire 
of her soul for a suburban residence and a garden. 

" Of course," said Jarred ; " wherever there's psalm-singing 
the rents go up. You stick a gothic church with a tall steeple 
in the middle of an empty field, and three years afterwards 
you've got a genteel suburb. The semi-detached villas sprout 
up like mushrooms after rain. I'll tell you what, old lady, if 
you've set your heart on a bit of garden, I'll walk over Cam- 
berwell way this afternoon, and look about me." 

" Lor, Jarred," cried Mrs. Gurner, enraptured, " when you 
speak like that you remind me of your father in his best 
days!" 

" Thank you, mother. I daresay you mean it as a compli- 
ment, but I don't care to be reminded of any resemblance 
between myself and that party." 

"He was as fine a man as ever wore shoe-leather when he 
and I were married," answered Mrs. Gurner plaintively. " You 
remember him when he was but a wreck, Jarred ; when things 
had gone wrong with him, and he'd been led astray. But you 
oughtn't to be hard upon him, Jarred. It isn't given to every 
one to keep the right path ; and there's many times I've sat in 
this chair and sobbed my heart out for fear your poor father's 



Lost for Love. 353 

weakness was hederitary, and you was going the same 
way." 

"No," said Jarred with dignity; "I'm not a saint, but I 
have contrived to stop short of felony." 

" Ah, Jarred, if you knew how narrow is the line of dimer- 
gence ! Your poor father would never have gone astray if it 
hadn't been for the betting-ring. He always used to say it 
was a mill-stream, and it would suck him down some day ; and 
so it did." 

" I think you may as well let bygones be bygones, mother. 
There's no particular good in raking up stale mud." 

" When the heart is overloaded, Jarred, there must be some 
relief." 

" You'd better employ yourself in furbishing up the stock 
against those two unhappy females enter into possession. I'll 
take an Atlas as far as Walworth-gate," said Jarred, putting 
on his hat. 

" Coldharbour-lane is a lovely neighbourhood," suggested 
Mrs. Gurner. " I remember the famous Greenacre murder 
when I was a girl, and a portion of the body being found in 
Coalharbour-lane. There'; Hie Grove, too, where George Barn- 
well " 

But Jarred had vanished, and M\i. Gurner, with her chronio 
sigh, took up a clothes-brush and began the work of renovation 
upon a well-worn velvet mantle. 

Perhaps Jarred, in yielding to his mother's desire for fresh 
woods and pastures new — in the shape of " a bit of garden" 
— was not altogether sacrificing inclination to duty. In sooth, 
since the idea of mending his ways and breaking with the 
Jobury set had stolen upon him, Voysey-street had lost much 
of its old familiar charm. Voysey-street without the Jobury 
set was dismal as a deserted club-house, and Jarred felt that 
his only chance of holding himself aloof from the too fascinat- 
ing parlour of the King's Head was to put a three-mile walk, or 
a threepenny omnibus ride between his own abode and tempta- 
tion. Even then there was the possibility that the tempter 
might be too strong for him. He might find himself drawn 
back to the enchanted spot. Yet by quarrelling with Jobury 
he had, as he told himself, taken a step in the right direction. 
He and Mr. Jobury now cut each otkor with cruellest delibera- 
tion at every chance encounter : but were Jobury, overcome by 
a gush of feeling, to extend his hand, and cry, " Gurner what an 
ass you've made of yourself! " Jarred felt that all the strength of 
his manhood would not be strong enough to resist that friendly 
appeal. He would melt at once, and he and Joseph Jobury 
•would a^ain be as brothers. So Jarred made his way into 



354 Lost for Love. 

Regent- street, by various short cuts through noisome alleys- 
having your thoroughbred Londoner's antipathy to broad and 
airy streets and cleanly rectangular ways — and anon clambered 
up to the box-seat of an Atlas, which carried him as far as 
Walworth-turnpike. 

Mr. Gurner had passed the few years of his wedded life in 
this neighbourhood, and a thread of tender memories was 
interwoven with those narrow side-streets which intersect the 
district between the two broad highways of Walworth and 
Kennington. He had been fond of his young wife, after his 
own careless fashion, and they had lived comfortably together 
for four years of a nomadic kind of existence ; roaming froni 
lodging to lodging, with a small cart-load of battered old goods 
and chattels, which just served to furnish a couple of rooms in 
a scanty gipsy fashion. They had moved for the mere pleasure 
of locomotion, it would seem, but urged thereto by some fond 
hallucination that the new second-floor to which they were 
going was infinitely superior in accommodation and situation 
to the domicile they were leaving; and in this manner had 
peregrinated all over Walworth — now to be found on a first- 
floor in Beresford-street ; anon ascending a story higher in 
Manor-place, or making a flank movement to Hampton- street. 
Mrs. Jarred Gurner had died of a cold caught in her last change 
of abode, on which occasion the nomads had pitched their tent 
too soon after the scrubbing of the floors. Old Mrs. Gurner 
was wont to describe pathetically how that damp second-floor 
back had settled upon Louisa's lungs ; but the gods may have 
beheld that young matron with peculiar favour, inasmuch as 
the fatal shaft struck her before age had withered or custom 
staled her in the estimation of Mr. Gurner. She died at 
fourand-twenty years of age, and Jarred honestly lamented 
her. It was after her death that he cast in his lot with his 
mother, and became joint proprietor with her of the house 
in Voysey- street, whither Louisa — then between two and 
three years old — was conveyed. And thus it happened that 
Loo had grown up in Yoysey-street, and had no memory of 
any other shelter than that dingy old tenement in a decayed 
locality. 

To-day, surveying the bustling Walworth-road from the box- 
seat of the Atlas, Jarred felt a pang of regret for his bright 
young wife, dead twenty years ago. He remembered theii 
shifty wandering life, their cosy little hot suppers, and savoury 
meat-teas ; the banquets they had made upon bloaters and 
bread-and-butter; their aldermanic feasts upon sausages or a 
grilled haddock ; their evening rambles in " the Road," when 
the shop-windows were lighted and the pavements crowded, 



Lost for Love. 355 

and the scene had, for them, all the life and brightness of a 
Parisian boulevard. 

" 1'oor old days, they're past and gone ! " Jarred said to him- 
self with a sigh. " I should have been a better man, I think, if 
Louisa had lived." 

An idle fancy this, perhaps ; yet the thought had a soften- 
ing influence, and Mr. Gurner esteemed himself more kindly 
on account of that capacity for better things which had been 
nipped in the bud by his wife's untimely death. With this 
softer feeling full upon him, and at every footstep recalling 
fond memories of his youth, Jarred peregrinated Camberwell, 
and about sunset discovered a queer little lop-sided house, with 
a weedy neglected garden backing on to a canal. The garden 
was small certainly ; but it was larger than the oblong patch 
of barren ground which is usually allotted to a modern villa 
within three miles of Charing Cross, and it was screened from 
the outer world by a dense hedge of elder hawthorn. In the 
middle of the rank grass-plat there stood a fine old pear-tree — 
a tree that must have been planted a century ago, when Cam- 
berwell was among the most rustic of suburban villages — a tree 
with a thick rugged trunk and spreading branches, which in 
this autumnal season bore actual pears. They might have the 
flavour of turnips and the consistence of wood, but they were pears. 

That pear-tree decided Jarred. There was a decent-sized 
room on the first-floor, with a window facing north — an apart- 
ment which would serve for Mr. Gurner's work-room ; and he. 
did not concern himself in any wise about the rest of the 
rooms, which were somewhat small and eccentric in shape. Ho 
made no inquiries as to coal-cellar or wash-house, he drew no 
evil augury from the smoke-blackened chimneypiece in the 
kitchen : but he struck a bargain on the spot with the agent 
who showed him the tenement. He was to have the house 
— Malvina Cottage was its name — rent-free for the ensuing 
quarter, on consideration of his foregoing all repair and em- 
bellishment thereof, and at an annual rent of five-and-twenty 
pounds afterwards. 

" And it's one of the cheapest houses in Camberwell," said 
the agent with conviction, " and one of the most convenient for 
a small family." 

" It seems to have been a longish time to let," remarked 
Jarred, contemplating the weedy garden. 

" I might have let it no end of times, if I hadn't stuck out 
for a substantial tenant," replied the agent. " By the bye, I 
suppose you can give satisfactory references." 

" I have lived twenty years in the house I now occupy," said 
Jarred loftily ; " and I can refer you to my landlord." 



356 Lost for Love. 

" That's more than sufficient." 

Jarred returned to Yoysey-street after dark, well satisfied 
with his work. That pear-tree had fascinated him. He had 
pleasant ideas of long lazy Sabbath mornings, seated in a bee- 
hive chair under that tree, smoking the pipe of contentment, 
and listening to the church-bells as they called less independent- 
minded citizens to the morning service. He liked the notion 
of Malvina Cottage, that domicile being in a peculiarly retired 
corner — a narrow little bit of lane between a church and the 
canal, which led nowhere. He felt that he could live his own 
life there, and that his artistic powers in the manipulation 
of the fiddle family would burgeon afresh in that peaceful re- 
tirement. 

He gave Mrs. Gurner a glowing description of the cottage, 
firing that long-suffering matron's soul with the idea that she 
was going to begin life afresh as a lady. 

" You can keep a decent servant, old woman," he said; " not 
one of your chance girls, that come from nowhere, and are 
always gone home to their mothers when one wants them to 
run on an errand. On the income Leyburne allows us, aud 
what I can add to it, we ought to live comfortably." 

" And so we can, Jarred, if you will keep away from the 
public-house." 

" I mean to do it, mother. I shall take my glass of hollands- 
and-water at home like a gentleman. I'm sick of your public- 
house riffraff." 

This was Jarred Gurner's renunciation of his vices, and he 
was very much in earnest. He had tasted too much of the 
dust and ashes that constitute the core of life's Dead-Sea fruit, 
and was inclined to forego pleasures that had brought discom- 
fort and disgust in their train. And deep in his heart there 
lurked the desire to be more worthy of his handsome daughter, 
a less incongruous element in Mrs. Walter Leyburne's life. 

" I know she's fond of me," he said to himself, " and she 
has been true as steel from first to last. But if she were to 
meet me walking in the street with any of my old chums she'd 
be obliged to cut me. I should like to stand a little bit higher 
in the social scale, so that Loo could point to me, and say, 
' That's my father,' without a blush." 



Lost for Love. 357 



CHAPTER XXXIX. 

" Meantime Luke began 
To slacken in his duty ; and, at length, 
He in the dissolute city gave himself 
To evil eourses : ignominy and tUmo 
Fell on him — 

* # # * 

There is a comfort in the strength of love ; 
'Twill make a thing endurable, which else 
Would overset the brain, or break the heart." 

It was Mrs. Gurner' s last day but one in Voysey-street. The 
furniture was ready for removal; the small stock of glass and 
crockery packed in a crate, with the ironmongery at bottom by 
way of ballast ; Jarred's pictures — the Guido for which he had 
so long sought a purchaser, and various other canvases of pro- 
blematical value — swathed in an old dressing-gown, and bound 
together with a clothes-line ; a battered old portmanteau, stand- 
ing on end in the passage ; the fire-irons tied up in brown paper ; 
the chest of drawers turned the wrong way ; a general air of 
upside-downishness pervading the apartments, so soon to be 
abandoned by their present tenants. 

The day was waning, and Mrs. Gurner sat alone by her dis- 
mantled hearth. She had toiled patiently since morning at the 
packing, while Jarred was agreeably busy at Malvina Cottage, 
helping a jobbing carpenter to nail up shelves, and put up a 
bedstead or two, and directing the operations of a jobbing gar- 
dener, who was endeavouring to reduce the neglected garden to 
order and symmetry by means of a scythe and a pruning-knife. 

Having done her duty bravely — struggling heroically with 
feather beds, and nearly dislocating her spine in the delicate 
task of packing the crate — Mrs. Gurner seated herself in one 
of the two remaining chairs, and indulged in the luxury of a 
" good cry." Why she should weep at the prospect of aban- 
doning a place which she had long yearned to leave is a question 
for psychologists to answer. She wept with a vague self-pity ; 
remembering the dreary years she had lived in that house, and 
the small leaven of joy in her full measure of grief and care. 
She had struggled on, grubbed on, somehow, for twenty years, 
never utterly free from anxiety, rarely knowing an hour which 
had not been haunted by the vision of an angry tax-gatherer or 
an exasperated landlord. And yet, just at the last, she shed 



358 Lost for Love. 

"regretful tears, remembering stray hours of comfort, thinking 
bi this old parlour as the living thing of their beloved dead, 
forgetting its faults, remembering only its better qualities. 

" I don't think there's a snugger room of a winter's evening, 
or a better grate to draw," she said to herself. " I only hope 
the chimneys don't smoke at Malvina Cottage, and that there's 
an oven that will bake a pie. Jarred might have paid me the 
compliment to ask me to go over to Camberwell and see the 
house before he settled everything, but he always had such 
impetuous ways." 

Mrs. Gurner made herself a cup of tea dolefully, as if she 
had been infusing hemlock for a final sedative, and produced 
the remains of yesterday's dinner from the cupboard ; but she 
was too depressed in spirit to care much for the good ihings of 
this life, and the blade-bone of a cold shoulder had no charm 
for her. She sat and sipped her tea and meditated ; now 
shaking her head pensively with a languid sigh, now wiping 
a tear from her dim old eyes. By the time she had finished her 
third cup she had arrived at a desperate resolution. 

" I'll go round to Wimpole-street, and have another look at 
her before I leave the neighbourhood," she said to herself. 
" I've never annoyed her, or gone near her, or put forward any 
claim, in all these years ; but I feel as if I couldn't go across 
the water — for at my age I'm not likely to be coming backwards 
and forwards to this part of London — until I've had another 
look at her, and heard her pretty voice again. I don't seek for 
anything from her, wealthy as she is ; I don't want to obtrude 
myself upon her ; but I feel as if it would do me good to see 
her." 

Mrs. Gurner rose, and hastened to remove the traces of her 
day's labour by means of mild ablutions, conducted rather 
upon the continental hotel principle, of a little water in a 
small basin going a long way. She brushed and curled her 
front, put on a clean collar, and a large and awe-inspiring 
brooch of the cameo tribe, representing a straight-nosed 
Minerva in a helmet — a goddess whom Mrs. Gurner insisted 
upon mistaking for Britannia. Since the sale of the plum- 
coloured satin, and the disposal of the stock-in-trade, Mrs. 
Gurner possessed no such thing as a best gown; but she 
shook and brushed her every-day raiment, and contrived to 
make herself tolerably tidy. As she contemplated her front 
and bonnet sideways in the small and somewhat cloudy looking- 
glass, she flattered herself that there could be no mistake as to 
her pretensions to gentility. 

It was only six o'clock, and she knew that Jarred, pleased 
with Malvina Cottage as a child with a new toy, was not likely 



Lost for Love. 359 

to return till long after dark. She had laid in provision for his 
supper — a couple of pork-chops with the kidney in them— and 
felt easy in her mind; so she locked the parlour- door behind 
her, slipped the key under the mat — an agreed-upon hiding- 
place — and set out upon her errand. 

She went by various small streets to Eegent- street, and 
thence across Cavendish-square to Wigmore- street, and into 
Wimpole-street, the professional aspect of which thoroughfare 
impressed her strongly. She walked briskly along, looking at 
the numbers, till she came to Dr. Ollivant's door. Here she 
stopped, and knocked a timorous double-knock, and jingled the 
bell feebly. 

" I feel that faint, that I'm sure I shall drop if the door isn't 
opened quick," she said to herself. 

There was some delay before the door opened, but, Mrs. 
Gurner contrived to maintain her equilibrium, and had just 
strength to inform the butler, in a faint voice, that she wished 
to see Mrs. Ollivant on particular business. 

" I don't think my mistress will be able to see you," the man 
answered; " my master is very ill, and Mrs. Ollivant is in his 
room." 

" dear ! " sighed Mrs. Gurner, " I'd set my heart upon 
seeing her this evening." 

" If it's an application for relief, or anything in that way, 
it's not the least use," said the butler, almost shutting the door 
in the timorous visitor's face. 

At this insult Mrs. Gurner plucked up her spirit. 

" I'm not a pauper, though I do not come in my carriage- 
and-pair," she replied. " Perhaps if you'll be good enough to 
say that a connection of your mistress's wishes to have a few 
words witli her, Mrs. Ollivant will be good enough to see me." 

The man looked doubtful. After all, this shabby-genteel 
female might be a poor relation of his master's wife's. Needy 
connections are crab-apples that grow upon every family tree. 
Perhaps it might be an unwise thing to be churlish to this 
elderly applicant. 

" If you'd like to step in and wait for a few minutes, I'll 
send up your name," said the butler. 

"Whereupon Mrs. Gurner entered the hall, and was ushered 
into the dining-room — a dismal apartment in the ghastly Lon- 
don twilight, and containing no portable property within reach 
of the intruder, should she be an impostor with larcenous inten- 
tions. The sideboard was locked; even the dryasdust books 
and pamphlets, usually exposed upon the table for the enter- 
tainment of patients, had been bundled into a heap and put 
away by the careful seneschal. 



360 last for Love. 

" Your name, if you please, ma'am." 

" Gurner," replied the visitor hesitatingly, as if rather 
ashamed of that cognomen. 

The butler retired, and sent a housemaid up to the sick- 
room, with the intimation that a person by the name of Gur- 
ner, and asserting herself to be a connection of Mrs. Ollivant 
junior, was waiting in the dining-room : he himself keeping 
watch and ward over the door of that apartment, lest Mrs. 
Gurner should levant with the fire-irons or the black marble 
timepiece, or should make a raid upon the property in the 
hall. 

Flora came out of the sick-room at the housemaid's summons, 
fluttered and wondering. The girl had forgotten Mrs. Gurner's 
name, and had only contrived to say that a relation of her 
mistress's was waiting below; a startling announcement to 
Flora, who hardly knew of the existence of any one claiming 
kindred with her. 

The doctor was asleep — that fitful slumber of exhaustion 
which seems to give so little rest. He was well guarded, for 
his mother had come from the Willows, and kept watch by his 
pillow night and day, whereby the professional nurses found 
their labours wondrously lightened. 

" What shall I do, mamma?" said Flora helplessly, when 
the housemaid had stumbled through her message. 

" You had better see this person, I suppose, my love. There 
can be no harm in seeing her." 

So Flora went reluctantly to her unknown visitor, the butler 
opening the dining-room door with his grandest air as he 
ushered her in. 

" Shall I bring the lamp, ma'am ? " 

" If you please," said Flora, almost afraid at finding herself 
in the semi-darkness with a stranger. 

" I trust you will forgive my intruding upon you at such a 
time, Mrs. Ollivant," began the visitor. 

Flora gave a start of surprise. 

" I think I have heard your voice before," she exclaimed. 

" Yes, my dear young lady, we have met once before." 

" O, you wicked old woman ! " cried Flora, kindling with 
sudden indignation. " I know you quite well. How dare you 
come here and pretend that you are a relation of mine ? You 
above all other people ! You who might have saved me years 
of agony if you had only spoken the truth when you came to 
see me at Kensington ! You who knew that I was breaking 
my heart for an imaginary grief; that Dr. Ollivant, the best 
and noblest of men, was weighed down by the burden of an, 
imaginary crime ! " 



Lost for Love. 361 

" Circumstances alter cases, my dear young lady," pleaded 
Mrs. Gurner. " There were reasons why I could not speak so 
freely that day as I should like to have spoken. My grand- 
daughter's happiness and prosperity in life depended upon my 
keeping the secret — a girl that was brought up by me from a 
sickly child of three years old, and was like a daughter to me. 
I said all that I dared venture upon saying. I hinted to you 
that it was foolish to grieve for a sweetheart that had been from 
the very first more taken by Louisa than by you. More than 
that was not in my power to say. When my son Jarred trusted 
me with the secret about Mr. Leyburne, he made me take my 
Bible oath not to breathe a word of it to a mortial. I shouldn't 
be here to-night if I hadn't heard from Louisa that you and 
Mr. Leyburne had met at Killarney, and that the secret was a 
secret no ionger." 

" And that was your granddaughter — Mr. Leyburne's wife — 
whom I saw with him, 1 suppose," said Flora with involuntary 
scorn. 

" That was our Loo ; as good a girl as ever lived, and the 
best of granddaughters. Never did a cross word pass between 
us in all the years she and me spent together," protested Mrs. 
Gurner, happily oblivious of all bygone misunderstandings. 

" She is very handsome," said Flora, with that latent touch 
of scorn in her tone. 

" She always had the makings of a handsome woman, but 
she's improved wonderfully since her marriage. Prosperity 
makes a great difference in people. I was counted a good- 
ooking young woman in my day," sighed Mrs. Gurner, " but 
quite a different style from our Loo. She takes after the Gur- 
ners. The Shrubsons were fair and blue-eyed. My daughter 
that went to Australia was a thorough Shrubson ; her eyes were 
as blue as yours; yes, my dear young lady, just such eyes as 
yours, with the self-same look in them." 

Flora was not interested in these personal details. She was 
thinking with deepest anger and regret how much pain this 
wretched old woman could have spared her. 

" Did you know that my husband considered himself guilty 
of "Walter Leyburne's death," she asked ; " and that your son 
traded upon his knowledge of my husband's secret, and ex- 
torted money from Dr. OllivantP " 

" No, Mrs. Ollivant; if my son Jarred demeaned himself to 
do that, he did it without my knowledge. I was never trusted 
by Jarred an inch further than it suited his convenience to 
trust me. Many a time have I suspected that he had means of 
getting money beyond my knowledge; but never did I think of 
anything so bad as that. All he told me about Mr. Leyburne 



362 Lost for Love. 

was that he was supposed to be dead, but was really alive, and 
that he was going to marry our Loo. He had been engaged to 
you, and it was only his supposed death that set him free. Of 
course my feelings and my interests were with Loo, the grand- 
daughter I had brought up from an infant. She hadn't got 
through so much as the measles when she came to me, and I 
think if she whooped for one month the second year I had her, 
she whooped for ten. I never knew a child have the whooping- 
cough so long or so strong." 

" Why did you come here to-night?" asked Flora. " Was 
it to gloat over my misery ? My husband is dying." 

" Gloat over your misery ! my blessed lamb, how can 
you say such cruel words P " exclaimed Mrs. Gurner. " You 
cut me to the quick. If you were to take a knife and plunge it 
into me, you couldn't hurt me worse. I came because I am 
going to leave this neighbourhood, and at my age a three-mile 
distance is an inscruperable obstacle ; and I felt a yearning to 
see you before I left Voysey-street." 

" I can't understand why you should wish to see me," said 
Flora. The butler brought the lamp at this moment, and 
placed it on the table, illuminating Mrs. Gurner's time-worn 
visage, which was turned towards Flora with a piteous depre- 
cating look. " Nor can I understand why you should come to 
me with a falsehood, and announce yourself as a relation." 

" Suppose I were to tell you that there was no falsehood at 
all in that statement, Mrs. Ollivant. Suppose I were to tell 
you that four years ago, when I first heard of you living with 
your papa in Fitzroy- square, I knew you were my own blood- 
relation — my own granddaughter — as near to me as our Loo is 
— my dead daughter's only child — and yet kept myself aloof 
from you, and wouldn't come anigh you, or seek to benefit by 
your father's wealth to the extent of a sixpence, for fear I 
should bring trouble and shame upon you. Perhaps you would 
think better of me, and feel a little more kindly towards me, if 
you knew that." 

" Is this true P" gasped Flora. 

" Gospel truth, every word of it. When I came to see you 
at Kensington, and spoke to you of my daughter that went to 
Australia and married, and died young, leaving an only child, a 
girl — just such a one as you, perhaps — it was of your own blessed 
mother I spoke, though I couldn't put it clearer. It was my 
daughter, Mary Gurner, that your father married, though she 
changed her name when she went across the sea, on account of 
family troubles at home ; bitter disgrace that came upon her 
poor foolish father, through embezzling his employer's money 
to lay it on one of those sinful racehorses, which are always 



Lost for Love. 3(33 

leading men to destruction; and it there was an act of Parlia- 
ment passed to have them all exterminated it would be a bless- 
ing for wives and families. My husband, James Gurner, was as 
fine a man as you could see in a day's walk, but racehorses and 
horsy companions were the ruin of him ; and one miserable 
morning I saw him led away from his own breakfast-table, with 
handcuffs under his coat-sleeves. There was no Portland or 
Dartmoor in those days, so my James was sent over the water 
to Van Diemen's Land, where they took him to a dreadful 
place called Tasman's Peninsula, a bit of land hanging on to 
the world by a thread as you may say, and with the sea all 
raging and roaring round it, and sharks playing about in the 
surf, and a chain of savage dogs to guard the poor misguided 
creatures that were sent there. And there they dressed my 
poor James in gray and yellow, and called him a canary bird ; 
which the disgrace of it and the poor diet broke his heart, and 
he went off with congestion of the lungs in the second year of 
his time. Mary was passionately fond of her father ; so she 
went out to Van Diemen's Land after him, and took any situa- 
tion she could get there, so as to be near him, and to see him 
now and then, when the rules and regulations permitted." 

" And she was my mother ! " murmured Flora wonderingly. 

It seemed a hard thing to have this ignominy cast upon her 
all at once; to know that her maternal grandfather had been a 
convict, that her maternal grandmother was a person whose 
relationship she must needs blush to own. The only comforting 
part of the story was that which concerned her mother. It 
was some consolation to know that she had been tender and 
devoted, unselfish and faithful. 

" My poor mother ! " she repeated ; " she went out alone to 
that strange country to be near her wretched father?" 

" Tes, she was with him when he died; and then she left 
"Van Diemen's Land and went as nursery governess in a family 
that travelled from one place to another, unsettled like, till they 
took up their residence at Hobart Town; and a year or two 
afterwards your father saw her, and fell in love with her, and 
married her off-hand. She wrote to tell me how happy she was, 
and she sent me money very often ; but she implored me never 
to let her husband know that she was the daughter of a felon. 
' It wouldn't turn him against me,' she said, ' he's too true for 
that ; but it would grieve him to tho heart ; it might break his 
heart to know that his child was descended from a convict.' So 
I made a solemn promise that I would never hold any commu- 
nication except with her, and never intrude myself on her mar- 
ried life when she came home to England ; little thinking that 
she was to be taken away so soon, and that I was to lose all 



364 Lost for Love. 

the help and comfort that she had been to me. But I kept my 
promise, and never came near you or your father, or put for- 
ward a claim to your notice, though I knew you were Irving 
two or three streets off, rolling in riches." 

" It was very good of you," said Flora gently. " I would 
gladly have given you any assistance in my power ; indeed it 
would have been only a duty, hnl I known your claim upon 
me. Anything I can do for you now " 

"No, no," cried Mrs Gurner eagerly; "don't think that; 
pray don't think that ! I didn't come here for what I could 
get. I hadn't a mercenary thought. The little that I want 
for the few years I have to live my son Jarred is pretty safe to 
provide, thanks to Mr. Leyburne, who allows him a handsome 
income ; and I believe he means to turn over a new leaf, and not 
squander it on horse-racing, as he has done, which things have 
been looking brighter for us this last few weeks than they have 
for a long time. No, my pretty love, I didn't come here to ask 
for anything ; I only came for one look at your sweet face, so 
like poor Mary's. I should never have let out about the rela- 
tionship, perhaps, if it hadn't been for your man-servant, with 
his high and mighty airs ; throwing out that I was a beggar, 
and as good as shutting the door in my face. That was too 
much for my feelings, as a lady, and I blurted out the truth, 
just to let him know that he was talking to his betters." 

" I am very glad you have told me the truth," said Flora 
gravely. " T was foolishly proud when I thought myself supe- 
rior to youi granddaughter. It is only right that I should be 
humiliated. Do not suppose that I am ashamed of my dear 
mother," she added hastily; " I honour her memory for her 
devotion and her love. But — but — you can understand that it 
wounds me a little to know that my grandfather was a felon." 

" I didn't ought to have told you," exclaimed Mrs. Gurner, 
conscience-stricken, " but I couldn't resist it, when you spoke 
so unkindly just now, knowing how I'd sacrificed my own feel- 
ings and my own interest to keep my promise to your mother." 

" Forgive me," said Flora humbly ; " I am too unhappy to 
be kind." 

And then it occurred to her that she was called upon to 
make some demonstration of affection — perhaps to kiss this 
newly-discovered grandmother — and she felt that she could not. 
Money she could give, or kindness ; but affection was not forth- 
coming at so short a notice. 

" Let me help you in some way," she said. " I shall be very 
glad if I can be of any use to you. I have plenty of money 
always at my disposal. You need never want for anything 
that I can give." 



Lost for Love. 365 

" God bless you, my lamb ! " sobbed Mrs. Gurner ; " you're 
your mother all over. I won't pretend that a five-pound note, 
once in a way, wouldn't be a gedsend ; for even if Jarred does 
keep things straight for the future, it would be a comfort to me 
to know that I had a pound or two of my own laid by. And 
if you will let me come and see you now and then — say 
once in six weeks, for instance — and sit and talk of your poor 
mother for half an hour or so, it would do me a world of good." 

" Come as often as you like, by-and-by," said Flora, " if my 
husband recovers. But I fear he is dying." 

" My blessed love, while there's life there's hope." 

" That is what the doctors tell me. He has lingered longer 
than they expected, but there is no sign of recovery yet, and 
the hope seems so faint." 



CHAPTER XL. 

" Bile aimait, elle aimait comma aiment les courtisanes et les anges, avec 
orgueil, avec humility." 

While Flora watched and waited beside the bed where her 
husband lay, life trembling in the balance, life at odds with 
death which should prevail, doctors doubtful, and discoursing 
only in vaguest oracles, nurses fain to admit that they had 
rarely seen a patient brought lower, even when the last awful 
damps of swift-coming mortality stole over the ashen face, in- 
dicative of inevitable doom — while Flora spent her days and 
nights in passionate bursts of tearful prayer, or intervals of 
silent hopelessness, that other fair young wife, Louisa Ley- 
burne, knew only the gladness and beauty of life; wandering 
from one fair scene to another, from lake to mountain, from 
wild seashore to verdant inland valley, unspeakably happy with 
that one companion who was to her mind an epitome of all that 
is noblest and brightest in mankind. Perhaps there is no con- 
dition of the human mind which comes nearer perfect happiness 



366 Lost for Love. 

than that of the fetish-worshipper — the man or woman whose 
life is governed by a master-passion, whose thoughts and de- 
sires all tend to one fixed centre, whose aspirations follow one 
ever-shining star — and of all such idolaters the wife who adores 
her husband is the happiest. Life for her is as ecstatic as 
that one mystic night-watch in the sanctuary when the deluded 
Indian girl believes she holds communion with her god. She 
is no less blind in her devotion, no less exalted in her surrender 
of self, merged in an imagined divinity. In three years of 
wedded life it had never occurred to Louisa that this genius 
who had made her his handmaiden was after all of the same 
clay as his fellow-men ; moulded like them out of various weak- 
nesses ; like them prone to err. To her he seemed simply per- 
fect. To suppose that Eaffaelle had been a better painter, or 
Rubens a more useful member of society, than Walter Ley- 
burne would have been rank blasphemy in the opinion of his 
"ife. The world would think so, of course, for some time to 
jome, both Raffaelle and Rubens having been more fortunate 
in their surroundings and opportunities ; but for her, who knew 
him, to set earth's grandest genius above him would have been 
impossible. 

" I know what you can do, Walter, when once you make up 
your mind to work honestly," she would say to him sometimes, 
with a superb air of conviction, " and I long for the day when 
you will really begin your career." 

" My love, let us make the most of our honeymoon," the 
young husband had answered gaily. 

But the honeymoon had now lasted three years — three years 
of the brightest, easiest, most unconventional life possible to 
two happy lovers — and Louisa declared that it was time for her 
husband to set to work. He had not been altogether wasting 
his days during that sunny idlesse in fair foreign lands. His 
studies and sketches would have loaded a Pickford van. He 
had exhibited a genre picture here and there: in Brussels, 
where Madou himself had complimented the young English- 
man; in Milan; in Paris, where the critics had been for the 
most part favourable to the nameless stranger. The pictures 
were the simplest of compositions, but showed power. Loo 
reading a letter in a sunlit garden ; Loo playing with her baby 
in the firelight ; Loo looking dreamily across the moonlit waves ; 
always Loo; that most patient and devoted of models was 
never weary. 

Utterly serene had been those three years of wedded life to 
the idol himself. It is astonishing how slow the human fetish 
is to tire of incense or worship. Walter accepted his wife's 
adoration with a charming equanimity ; sunned himself in her 



Lost for Love. 367 

admiring smiles ; felt that he must really possess some latent 
element of greatness, or so sensible a woman could not think 
so much of him. Not for one instant, not with one passing 
thought, transient as summer lightning, had he ever regretted 
his unequal marriage. Loo suited him to perfection, amused 
him, interested him, astonished him by the c'evelopment of an 
ever-widening mind. He felt as Pygmalion the sculptor might 
have felt if his animated statue had been a clever woman 
instead of a nonentity. He would sit in a half-dreamy idleness 
and wonder at Loo's cleverness, and say to himself, " This is my 
work. If she had never loved me, this peerless gem might still 
have been fetching beer and sweeping floors in Voysey-street." 
He had no foolish shame in the remembrance that she had once 
been doomed to base drudgery. He was proud of her emanci- 
pation, proud of that instinct of his which had discerned the 
jewel on the dungheap. 

One day, when Loo had been reproaching him tenderly for 
his desultory work, his indifference to renown, he put his arm 
round her and drew her to the cheval-glass. 

" Look there, Loo," he said; "that is the one picture I am 
proud of. Work as hard as I may, I shall never beat that." 

No, it was not possible to be happier than these two were, 
for they had the exquisite delight of looking back to days when 
the future, now so fair, was clouded and gloomy ; and one of 
them, at least, felt like a captive who had escaped from prison ; 
nay, almost like a soul released from its clay, and translated to 
a more ethereal world than this common earth. 

" Sometimes I almost fancy my life with you must be one 
long delicious dream," Loo said to her husband. " It is bright 
enough and wonderful enough for that." 

And now, having scampered through Scotland, and explored 
Ireland, from the Giant's Causeway to the cliffs of Moher, Mr. 
and Mrs. Leyburne went back to London, and there was serious 
talk between them of beginning a steady-going, hard-working 
life in one of those pretty houses in that South-Kensington 
district where painters love to congregate. 

For Loo had talked her husband into the belief that the time 
had now come for him to begin his career. The praises won by 
that last little picture of his were enough to fire ambition in a 
duller breast than Walter Leyburne's. He had needed just so 
much recognition of his genius as a stimulus to exertion. His 
love of art had always kept his pencil busy, and he had been 
improving himself unconsciously during the last three years ; 
but this taste of absolute success inspired him with new earnest- 
ness. He was more at ease too, after that meeting with Flora ; 
for the knowledge that he had acted meanly to Mark Cham- 



368 Lost for Love. 

ney's daugher had been the one drop of bitter in his honeyed 
cup. A natural aversion from all mental effort, a sybaritish 
shrinking from an unpleasant duty, had kept him from any 
attempt at explanation, after he had returned, as one resusci- 
tated from death, to the realities and obligations of life. Flora 
was married and happy, he had said to himself. What could 
it matter to her whether he were living or dead ? And as for 
Dr. Ollivant — who might possibly have some scruples of con- 
science on account of that struggle on the Devonian cliff — it 
behoved him. to suffer a little for that outbreak of evil passion, 
more especially as he had won the object of his heart's desire 
in Flora Ohamney. And thus time had slipped by, and Walter 
Leyburne had made no sign; and it was only when he was 
brought face to face with the consequences of his conduct in 
that interview with Flora, when he saw her lifeless at his feet, 
and heard how she had suffered for his sake, that he realised 
the extent of that sin of omission of which he had been guilty. 
He would have given much to atone for his wrong-doing, but 
there had been a tone in Flora's farewell that forbade all hope 
of friendship in the future ; and then he and Dr. Ollivant had 
never got on very well together ; there had been always a mute 
antagonism, a lurking jealousy. 

" ' Lass das Vergangne vergangen seyn ! ' ' Let what is 
broken so remain!'" said Mr. Leyburne with a sigh. 

The painter and his wife came to London a few days after 
the migration from Voysey-street; and while Walter dined 
with some art-friends at an artists' -club, Loo drove over to 
Camberwell, and spent the evening with Jarred and Mrs. Gur- 
ner in their new abode, which had just now all the charm of 
novelty, so that its very defects were extolled as beauties. 
Even Louisa was pleased with the queer little cottage on the 
bank of the canal. It was pleasantly secluded, and altogether 
an agreeable change from the publicity of Yoysey-street, where 
on summer evenings the inhabitants seemed to live chiefly on 
their doorsteps ; women standing in little groups, gossiping, 
with portentous countenances, as if their talk were of the fate 
of nations ; children squatting on the shallow steps, or swarm- 
ing on the scrapers. There was the privacy of a home in this 
sheltered little garden, and this old-fashioned cottage with its 
windows opening on the grass-plat, its humble aspirations 
towards the beautiful, in the way of an ornamental gable or 
two and a fanciful chimney-pot. 

It was a strange thing for Loo to sit in the little parlour, 
drinking tea in state, and suffering herself to be admired by 
her delighted relatives, as if she had been a princess of the 
blood-royal receiving the homage of her subjects. Mrs. Gur- 



Lost for Love. 369 

ner contemplated her granddaughter with a rapture that was 
almost religious in its fervour ; handled the material of Louisa's 
dress, speculated upon its cost per yard, expatiated on the 
beauty of the Maltese lace, which Loo wore with a royal care- 
lessness. 

" And I suppose -your maid comes in for all your cast-off 
dresses," remarked Mrs. Gurner with a sigh, " and will dispose 
of that lace to some one in the wardrobe business for a mere 
song ? " 

" I am not quite so extravagant as to throw real lace aside, 
grandma," replied Loo ; " but my maid certainly has the rever- 
sion of my dresses. You see, I could not think of offering a 
dress I had worn to you; but if you really admire this gray 
silk " 

" Admire it, Louisa!" ejaculated the elderly lady; " I never 
saw a lovelier dress, or one that more bespeaks the lady ; and 
when you have worn it as long as you can wear it, made a hack 
of it even, it would turn and do up lovely for me, and plenty to 
spare for turnings, you being so much taller." 

" Then you shall have it, grandma, and I promise not to hack 
it. But I should like to wear it a little longer, as it is a fa- 
vourite dress of Walter's," added Loo, with a blush, as if she 
had been speaking of a lover rather than a husband. 

" Do you remember that heavenly maroon silk he gave 
you when you were sitting to him for Laminia ? " asked Mrs. 
Gurner. 

" Remember it? yes, indeed, grandma," answered Loo, with 
a suddeu troubled look and a faint sigh. 

She remembered that Sunday morning at the Kensington 
boarding-school when Miss Tompion had been outraged by 
the appearance of the ruby silk, and had said hard things 
about it. She remembered kneeling on the hare boards of the 
wardrobe-room at Thurlow House, raining bitter tears upon 
that " wine-dark " dress — angry, humiliated, almost despairing. 

To how fair a morning had she travelled through that dark 
night of her life ! 

She had brought a well-filled purse to Malvina Cottage; 
and presently, when she had gratified Mrs. Gurner by inspect- 
ing every nook and corner, from the servant's bedchamber — a 
mere box of a room, squeezed into the would-be Swiss roof — to 
the wash-house and yard, where Jarred contemplated keeping 
poultry by-and-by, when they were settled — Louisa presented 
her grandmother with a handsome sum of money to buy a 
little new furniture. 

" And, grandma dear," she added pleadingly, " you would so 
much oblige me by not buying it second-hand. We had so 

A A 



370 Lost for Love. 

much of second-hand things in Voysey-street, that I have 
grown np with a dislike to them. I should like to see that 
pretty little parlour down-stairs, and your bedroom, and 
father's, furnished with bright-looking new things, fresh and 
clean, if they were only varnished deal, and chosen expressly 
for you ; not other people's discarded furniture." 

" My dear, there is nothing to beat a broker's-shop if you 
want bargains, and know how to buy," answered Mrs. Gurner 
sententiously. " But after such generosity as you have shown 
me, it would be a hard thing if I didn't defer to your opinion. 
The goods shall be bought new and in sweet." 

After this, and when the stars were shining over the house- 
tops of Camberwell, Loo and her father walked alone in the 
little garden, and talked together with unrestrained affection. 

Jarred told his daughter that for her sake, because she was 
so bright a creature, and had achieved so fair a destiny, he 
meant to try his hardest to be a somewhat better man in the 
future. She kissed him tenderly, too deeply moved for many 
words, and only answered : 

" And for the right's sake, dear father ; for the satisfaction 
of your own conscience." 

" Ah, my dear, I contrived to rub on so many years without 
being troubled by my conscience. If ever I did feel an uncom- 
fortable sense that my life was all askew, the feeling wore off 
after a glass of gin- and- water. But now that I am getting older 
and see you a lady, and the wife of a rich man — well, I do feel 
that I should like to place myself on the square, and that there 
are many little things I used to do in Yoysey-street, which 
were not up to the mark, not quite in accordance with your 
rigid moralist's notion of a gentleman's conduct. And_ I 
mean to reform that altogether in future, Loo, and to live 
quietly in my retired little box, and restore pictures and mani- 
pulate violins, and earn my living like a man. Of course, for 
the old lady's sake, my life and health being uncertain, I shall 
not refuse the three hundred per annum which your husband is 
liberal enough to allow us." 

" Of course not, father," replied Loo warmly. Utopian 
generosity in Mr. Gurner would have alarmed her, as too un- 
natural a burst of virtue. " Of course not. And I shall be 
able to help you, too, out of my pocket-money ; for Walter gives 
me more than I could spend if I were ever so extravagant." 

Louisa's carriage — only a hired brougham yet awhile — was 
at the door, and she was just ready to say " Good-bye," when 
Mrs. Gurner indulged in a little gush of that melancholy which 
was her normal condition, and from which she only emerged 
upon rare and exceptional occasions of rejoicing. 



Lost for Love. 371 

" Ah, Loo, you are a happy woman, and have reason to be 
thankful! The poor thing that your husband used to talk 
about when he was painting his Laminia has had a hard time 
of it lately." 

Loo looked puzzled. 

"Do you mean Miss Chamney, grandma — Mrs. Ollivant, at 
least?" 

" I do, my dear. Dr. Ollivant is lying dangerously ill — at 
death's door." 

" Where did you hear that, mother ? " asked Jarred sharply. 

" In Voysey- street, promiscuously; just before we left." 

" Who should be talking of Dr. Ollivant in Voysey-street ? " 
demanded Jarred wonderingly. 

" I can't exactly call to mind who it was told me," replied 
Mrs. Gurner innocently, " but I think it must have been some 
one who had heard one of the medical students from the 
Middlesex talking of him. There's a many of 'em that take 
their sandwich and glass of ale at the King's Head between 
one and two." 

" Ah, very likely," answered Jarred, with a troubled look. 
" So Dr. Ollivant has been ill, has he? Did you hear what 
was the matter ? " 

" I think they said it was toyphide fever." 

" Poor girl ! " said Loo, thinking of the young wife — the 
woman whom she, Loo, had robbed of her first lover. It was 
a hard thing that she should be desolate and despairing while 
her happier rival's horizon was so bright and clear. 

" But I had my hour of gloom and fear," thought Loo, re- 
calling those slow summer days at Liddlecomb, when her lover 
lay steeped in the night of unconsciousness, and none could tell 
how swiftly or how soon he might pass into the deeper darkness 
of death. 



372 Lost for Low. 



CHAPTEE XLI. 

" Once, as methought, Fortune me kiss'd, 

And bade me ask what I thought best. 
And I should have it as me list, 

Therewith to set my heart in rest. 
I ask'd but for my lady's heart, 

To have for evermore mine own ; 
Then at an end were all my smart ; 

Then should I need no more to moan." 

Bitter were those autumn days in Dr. Ollivant's sick chamber ; 
bitter and slow to pass ; each several hour prolonged by pain of 
body and weariness of spirit. The patient had been brought 
to just that point of prostration in which it would have seemed 
to the unconcerned humanitarian, looking at the case from a 
common-sense standpoint, a mercy to let him slip away into 
the untroubled region of death ; a mercy to loose the tired soul 
from that corpse-like clay, which had no sense save sense of 
pain. And perhaps, in these sad days, Flora's worst agony 
was to see the torture inflicted upon the wearied sufferer by 
those ever-changing medicaments which the doctors pre- 
scribed; blistering, poulticing, fomenting that feeble body; 
administering drugs which seemed to have no effect beyond 
the annoyance they inflicted upon the patient; assailing him, 
hour after hour, as he lay there moaning out feebly that he 
wanted only to be left alone. 

Never once in that awful period of suspense did Mrs. Ollivant 
reproach her daughter-in-law by so much as one word. But 
there were looks the agonised mother could not forbear ; looks 
of infinite pathos, which said plain a3 plainest words, " Why 
did you let this come to pass ? Why, if you loved him so well, 
did you abandon him to such desolation ? " 

For nearly three weeks Flora watched beside her husband's 
bed; sitting for hours with his burning hand held in hers; 
motionless as marble ; breathing restrainedly, lest a too audible 
breath should pierce the filmy veil which divided his troubled 
sleep from waking. And during all that time the sick man was 
for the most part unconscious of her presence, indifferent whose 
hand held his own, whose gentle touch smoothed his pillow or 
laid lotion- steeped linen on his burning forehead. There had 
been rare flashes of sense in the midst of delirium — moments 
in which Cuthbert Ollivant had recognised his wife, and called 
her by her name ; but memory was for the time extinguished. 



Lost for Love. 873 

He accepted her presence as a natural thing — knew not that 
they had ever been parted. 

Thus the burden of life went on growing daily heavier, as it 
seemed to Flora, for three weeks, and then one night — one never- 
to-be-forgotten night — when she had been praying fervently for 
hours at a stretch alone in the dressing-room adjoining the sick 
chamber, where she was supposed to be taking her rest upon the 
sofa, while Mrs. Ollivant and the night-nurse kept watch — just 
at that awful hour betwixt night and morning, when the de- 
stroying angel is said to be busiest, the change came ; and it was 
a change for the better. 

Cuthbert Ollivant awoke from a lethargic slumber, and looked 
at his mother, with a clearer look in the heavy eyes than she 
had seen there for a long time. He asked for some drink — wine 
— anything. The nurse brought him a glass of champagne and 
soda-water, the only form of nourishment which he had taken 
for days past, and even this had been taken most reluctantly. 
To-night he drained the glass with avidity. 

" That was good," he said ; and then looking about, he asked, 
" Where is Flora ? " 

" I have made her lie down, dear. She has been watching 
by your bed so long ; she has been so patient and devoted." 

Something told the mother that no speech could be so welcome 
to her son as praise of that idolised wife. 

" Yes ; poor child, poor child ! I have been ill a long time — 
so long. That medicine Bayne gave me last is no use. Chlorate 
— hy — hydrochlorate. I am a little better to night " — feeling 
his pulse — " feeble, very feeble, but not so quick." 

He turned upon his pillow, assisted by the tearful mother, and 
dropped asleep again. Flora was standing in the doorway be- 
tween the two rooms watching. 

What did this change mean ? Both women asked themselves 
that question. Was it only the prelude of the end, the last 
flicker, the final rally of expiring nature? They could only 
wonder, and wait, and pray. 

It was not the end. From that hour Dr. Ollivant's condition 
improved. Very slow, very tedious, and beyond measure weari- 
some to the patient was the process of recovery, the slow return 
of strength, the long interval during which the slightest exer- 
tion was a painful labour. But through all Cuthbert Ollivant 
was happy, for now, for the first time in his life, he was very 
sure that his wife loved him. 

As soon as he was able to be moved, she went with him to 
Ventnor alone ; the patient mother contented to resume her quiet 
post in the background of her son's life, now that he had his 
idol again. 



374 Lost for Love. 

They occupied a villa near the sea, and some distance from 
the town ; a solitary villa, from which they looked out upon the 
green hills and the blue water, and could fancy themselves alone 
upon some enchanted isle, fair as the romantic land of Prospero 
and Miranda. Here, as strength gradually returned, and re- 
covered health became a certainty, Dr. Ollivant and his wife 
were utterly happy. This was better than their honeymoon, 
Cuthbert would say sometimes, with the serenest smile that his 
wife had ever seen upon his face. 

She had told him all about that meeting with Walter Ley- 
burne at Muckross, as soon he was strong enough to bear any 
talk upon agitating subjects. She had told him how her heart 
had yearned for him through all that time of severance ; how, 
her first passion past, there had been no such thing as hatred or 
scorn in her mind ; only bitterest regret that he, whom she had 
held so noble, should have stooped to deceive. 

" And then Heaven had mercy upon my blindness, and I 
learned that you were free from the burden of Walter's death. 
God had spared you that misery, while chastising you for your 
weak yielding to temptation, and punishing me for my ingrati- 
tude to you." 

" My love, it was not ingratitude," he answered ; " it was but 
the natural revulsion of a truthful and noble mind, intolerant 
of untruthfulness." 

Flora told her husband also of that interview with Mrs. 
Gurner ; confessing with deepest humility the taint upon her 
maternal ancestry. 

" Are you not ashamed of your wife, Cuthbert, now that you 
know she is the granddaughter of a felon ? " 

" My dearest love, in the first place, I should be indisposed to 
believe this Mrs. Gurner without confirmatory evidence ; and in 
the second, I should love you just as fondly, honour you just 
as much, if your maternal grandfather had been Thurtell the 
murderer, or Fauntleroy the fraudulent banker." 

" So you see, dearest," said the doctor, one day, when he had 
been speaking of his great happiness, " Providence has been 
kind to a sinner who deemed the world well lost for love." 



THE END. 



London : Printed by H. Blacklock & Co., Allen Street, Goswell Koad, E.C. 



LOST FOR LOVE 

a Setel 

By the Author of "Lady Audley's Secret," &a. 



The following Opinions of the Press are taken, almost 
indiscriminately, from the criticisms of Newspapers all 
over the Kingdom: — 

"The conspicuous improvement in the style and matter of 
Miss Braddon's later novels is particularly noticeable in this 
her latest work. She is far more unaffected in ' Lost for Love ' 
than in any of her previous volumes. Although ostensibly a 
sensational story, this element is not too obtrusive, and the 
interest of the tale is well sustained. There is not much to be 
said concerning the plot. It is what may now be essentially 
called ' Miss Braddon's plot,' constructed mathematically, and 
with undeviating adherence to the rules she has laid down for 
herself. In common with the majority of this author's plots, 
it is well put together, the mere mechanism of the book being 
only such as could have been constructed by a practised hand. 
The story is interesting, and the pictures of the existence of the 
hard-working Londoners in low life are given with much fidelity. 
As a rule, there are two phases of existence invariably burlesqued 



by the author who would portray them — viz. Irish life and 
Bohemianism. The Irishman of fiction seldom lives out of the 
realms of fancy, and the Bohemian is generally equally overdrawn. 
Miss Braddon's rendering of Loo Gurner, of Voysey-street, a 
girl belonging to the latter class, is the best piece of character- 
painting in the book. Loo is a thorough Bohemian, handsome, 
warm-hearted, and clever ; she is a credit to the head and heart 
of her creator. From first to last, she is the most consistent 
character of the tale. Keen knowledge of human nature in its 
most subtle and unobtrusive phases is discernible in this por- 
trait. Her womanlike admiration for her worthless father, the 
little episode of the blue gown, and her gradual awakening to 
a sense of the value of the niceties of life when the artist, Walter 
Leyburne, visits them, are amongst the most natural touches 
in the book. The author's sense of humour crops up in her 
description of Miss Tompion's seminary, where the unlucky 
Loo is placed by the painter, who chivalrously takes her under 
his protection. There is no burlesque in the droll way in which 
the schoolgirl cliques are described ; the toadyism, the jealousies, 
and the second-rate stateliness of Miss Tompion herself are irre- 
sistibly comic and perfectly natural. Not less interesting and 
graphic is the account of the emigration office, and the emigrant 
ship to which Loo fled in disgust with the grim formalities of 
the ' Young Ladies' Seminary.' Next in order as a clever word- 
portrait comes Mrs. Gurner, Loo's grandmother, and the keeper 
of a * ladies' second-hand wardrobe.' The old woman's character 
is perfect of its kind. Her good nature, her vulgarity, and her 
genteel reminiscences are in admirable keeping throughout, and 
again show Miss Braddon's power of painting the humorous 
side of human nature. Mrs. Gurner has a firmly -fixed hallucina- 
tion that her business is an eminently respectable one; this 
delusion being founded upon the fact that in her wareroom 
there is neither counter, nor scales, nor weights, nor any other 
object hurtful to the feelings. Contrary to what might have 
been expected, the ' fast,' slangy, sensational female, popularly 
believed to be Miss Braddon's ideal woman, is not to be found 
in these pages. The women are all good types of their sex, 
and are naturally drawn, the two girl heroines especially. 
They are well contrasted, and neither loses by the contrast. 



Flora Cliamney, fair, gentle, and rather weak-minded, is an 
admirable foil to show off the physical beauty and original 
mind of poor poverty-stricken Loo. Both girls love the hand- 
some painter, who plays fast and loose with both in a remark- 
ably lifelike manner. The tale is bright and interesting, 
and there is not a line of it to which the most rigid puriat can 
take exception." — Morning Post, Oct. 10, 1874. 



"Nothing can be more simple and unpretending than the 
beginning of the story. We are introduced to a dull, sombre, 
highly-respectable house in Wimpole-street — a doctor's house, 
of course. Dr. Ollivant, the occupant, has, at thirty-six years 
of age, acquired a great practice by sheer hard work and exclu- 
sive devotion to his profession. He had resolved as a lad to be 
successful, and his life has been given up unreservedly to this 
single object. He is cold in manner, has ' dark, solemn eyes,' and 
* premature gravity hung upon him as a garment.' Although a 
fashionable physician, he lives secluded with his mother, who 
keeps house for him. After a laborious day, he dines with the 
old lady, and then shuts himself up in his study with his books. 
It is easy to understand what is going to happen when this 
solemn personage is suddenly brought into contact with a 
pretty, bright young girl, full of vivacity and sunshine. He 
is first amused, then interested, and, before he knows it, over 
head and ears in love. Mr. Chamney, the young lady's father, 
is suffering from heart-disease, and wishes to see his daughter 
provided for in case of his death. He proposes to make Dr. 
Ollivant her guardian, and also favours the addresses of a 
young artist, Walter Leyburne, in whom he is interested. 
Ley burn e presents the necessary contrast to the doctor's 
' dark, solemn eyes ' and premature gravity. He is ' a bright- 
looking young fellow, with an expression as radiant as a summer 
morning, blue eyes, straight Greek nose, light auburn moustache, 
with drooping ends sedulously twisted, only half concealing a 
somewhat feminine mouth, auburn hair, worn long in Eaffaella 



4 

fashion;' and he has a handsome fortune, left him by an old 
uncle, to back his artistic aspirations. This situation, though 
perhaps not particularly novel, is portrayed with a good deal 
of cleverness, and, what is more remarkable in Miss Braddon, 
with self-restraint. She is content to work with quiet simple 
touches, and the characters, though rather slight and shadowy, 
are interesting. We feel as if we had got safe beyond the sphere 
of paroxysmal passion and sensational incident, and prepare our- 
selves for the enjoyment of a domestic idyl. Of course the 
doctor is jealous of his rival, but he suppresses his feelings, and 
even assents with becoming resignation when the marriage is 
finally arranged. An experienced student of fiction instinc- 
tively knows what to expect when he finds papa ready with 
his blessing in the early part of a story. Another figure is 
now added to the scene. This is Loo Gurner, a character upon 
whom the author has evidently bestowed a good deal of pains. 
Loo's father is a professor of the art of doctoring pictures and 
violins for the Wardour- street market, and Leyburne, who, as 
an artist, might be supposed to know better, has somehow deal- 
ings with him, and is fond of going to his dingy manufactory 
to vapour about art. Here he meets Loo, is struck by her 
wild neglected beauty, and resolves to make her the subject of 
a great picture, to be called 'Lamia;' and the acquaintance 
thus begun quickly ripens into a dangerous intimacy. Ley- 
burne is not only fascinated by the ' dark, grand eyes, the ivory 
paleness of cheek and brow, the full crimson lips with their 
perfect curve, the loose shadowy hair,' but he undertakes to 
' redeem the imprisoned soul from bondage,' in other words, to 
teach Loo to appreciate the beauties of Keats, Shakespeare, 
Byron, and even iEschylus. We must confess that when 
we got to the grand, dark eyes and full crimson lips, we 
began to fear that we were getting back to some of the 
familiar delicacies of Miss Braddon's early style. It should 
be understood, however, that this novel is conducted on prin- 
ciples of the strictest propriety, and that Walter and Loo are 
equally unconscious of the perilous entanglement into which 
they are straying. One night, on their return from a 
rather late excursion, Walter finds his companion thrown on 
his hands by her father, who refuses to have anything more to 



do with her ; and it must be admitted that this is rather an 
awkward situation for a young gentleman who is already almost 
engaged to another young lady. Walter behaves in the most 
honourable way, sends Loo to a respectable boarding-school, 
and then — which is not perhaps quite so honourable — goes 
down to Flora at the seaside, and at a hint from her father 
proposes marriage, and is accepted. Nemesis follows him in 
the shape of old Jarred, who accuses him of carrying off his 
daughter, and demands that she should be given up. Dr. Olli- 
vant happens to overhear the conversation, challenges Walter 
with his perfidy to Flora, and threatens to expose him. Words 
come to blows, and all at once, without expecting it, we are in 
for the great sensation incident of the drama — the tremendous 
header that brings down the gods : ' The doctor wrestled, the 
painter made free use of his fists. For some moments Walter 
had the best of it, till, feeling himself losing ground, the doctor 
called science to his aid, and planted a blow on his antagonist's 
temple which sent Walter reeling backwards, helpless and un- 
conscious. Eeeling backwards on the sunburnt slippery sward 
that edged the cliff — backwards until, with a wild cry of horror, 
the doctor saw him sink below the verge.' When we reached 
this point we felt that we had indeed been made the victim 
of misplaced confidence. The quiet and sobriety of the earlier 
chapters were only tbe torrent's smoothness ere it dashed 
below. There is a rough vigour in the tale which dis- 

tinguishes it from the ordinary insipidity of current fiction." 
— Saturday Review, Oct. 3, 1874. 



"No one would be prepared to say off-hand how many 
novels Miss Braddon has written since ' Lady Audley's Secret ' 
appeared ; but any one who had read them all and took up ' Lost 
for Love' would be prepared to say, and justified in saying, that 
it has a place entirely its own in the long list of books of which 
it is the latest. Several of its predecessors have shown Miss 
Braddon's power of dealing with human passions, and the 
graceful facility with which she could describe incidents. But 



' Lost for Love,' while it exhibits no falling-off in these respects, 
shows a subduedness of tone and an amount of quiet force which 
is not to be seen in most of the other novels from the same 
hand. By those who will give some attention to the story, 

ft will be seen that the author has shown new powers in the 
delineation of character, while she has polished up that power 
of describing passion and suffering which she has always ex- 
hibited. Indeed, though it would be impossible to say that 
Miss Braddon has in ' Lost for Love ' shown in everything the 
highest attributes of the novelist's art, there can be no hesi- 
tation in saying that the novel will take a very high place 
among the fictional literature of the period. The novel may 
be shortly described as one of incident and careful character- 
study. . Old Mrs. Gurner is charming. Dickens never drew 
more faithfully a type of London character; indeed, his ten- 
dency to exaggeration prevented him from ever drawing one so 
absolutely faithful. All about Yoysey-street in the novel is 
capital. Nothing but a close and attentive study of London 
lower-middle-class life could have produced such a sketch as this 
■ — and study alone could not have done it without the power to 
understand what was observed. ' Lost for Love ' must be placed 
high among Miss Braddon's novels. It has few of the faults 
that have marked several of her stories, and it has a quiet power 
which makes it attractive to a high degree." — Scotsman, Sept. 
25, 1874. 



"Miss Braddon's new story, 'Lost for Love,' seems to our 
judgment one of the best specimens of its class. If we must 
admit that there are a few persons in the creation to whom it 
may happen to be ' lost for love,' or rather to be lost in love — 
completely carried away by the tide, at least during a part of 
their lives — here is a very fine exhibition of the singular phe- 
nomenon. . We must pronounce ' Lost for Love one of the 
best novels lately produced. It is not at all ' sensational ' in 
the bad sense, though it is, like others by Miss Braddon, suffi- 
ciently exciting. There is no crime or low vice, or any approach 



to either ; nor the slightest impropriety of a certain kind either 
in description or suggestion. In several important respects, it 
appears to us, Miss Braddon's recent works deserve the highest 
commendation. They display, as here in the characters of 
Flora and Ollivant, a sound and consistent notion of what is 
excellent in womanhood and in manhood. The action of the 
characters upon each other, in their growing influence and 
gradually-changing relations, is shown with a subtle discern- 
ment only surpassed by George Eliot. All the persons of the 
story are thoroughly alive and awake, and, when in each other's 
presence, they compel us to look at what they do and to listen 
to what they say. To these very great merits in a novelist 
Miss Braddon adds that of much knowledge of the world. She 
has a humorous acquaintance with that lower-middle-class 
world of London, the world of queer untidy muddle and shifty 
hand-to-mouth poverty seen in Voysey-street, Fitzroy-square. 
Dickens has hardly bequeathed us any representation of this 
kind more truthful than is the squalid household of the knavish 
picture-cleaner and violin-mender, who fabricates rare originals 
for rich amateurs to buy, with his mother, the dealer in ladies' 
cast-off finery, and his daughter, the brave, honest ' Loo.' 
Every detail of their way of living, of talking, and of thinking 
is touched off with admirable skill. There is much reality in 
the behaviour of Jarred at the skittle-alley and at Hampton 
races, when he would slake his idle spleen with gin-and-water, 
and so works himself up to a desperate effort. But the pas- 
sages in which Louisa runs away from the genteel Kensington 
boarding-school, and gets on board the emigrant-ship for Aus- 
tralia, are as good as anything in the book. Upon the whole, we 
have great pleasure in recommending ' Lost for Love ' as better 
worth reading than any of some threescore nnmentioned novels 
which were generally alluded to at the beginning of this review." 
— Illustrated London News, Oct. 3, 1874. 



" Miss Braddon's new novel, ' Lost for Love,' is replete with 
that freshness, vigour, and originality which distinguished her 
earliest productions, and which entitled her to a niche by the 



8 

side of the greatest writers of fiction of our day. Within a few 
years two styles of novels have appeared : one, of the sensational 
school, in which the incidents appear to have been borrowed from 
the Newgate Calendar ; the other of so fast a nature, that it may 
well be termed the George Sand School. Now, in ' Lost for Love,' 
though the interest never flags for a moment, there is nothing 
revolting, nothing that would cause the faintest blush on a 
maiden's cheek ; and this shows a master hand. Shakespeare, 
in Romeo and Juliet, introduces three street murders, one case 
of poison, and another of stabbing, but so felicitously is the 
story told that the feelings of the audience are not shocked; 
and whenever Miss Braddon presents the reader with some 
startling incident, an incident which, to adopt a common but 
very anti-anatomical expression, ' brings your heart into your 
mouth,' everything that would otherwise be revolting is happily 
toned down by the skill of the writer. The death scene is told 
to perfection, and, though truly exciting, is touching in the ex- 
treme. Jarred Gurner, the violin and picture votary, is a per- 
fectly original character, and one that Charles Dickens might 
have been proud of; his mother, the proprietress of the ladies' 
wardrobe establishment, is most graphically depicted. Loo Gur- 
ner absorbs a large amount of interest ; Flora is a most lovable 
creature, as unlike the usual stereotyped heroine of novel as the 
fountains at Versailles are to those of Trafalgar-square ; whilst 
the modern Alexander, who loses all for love, carries the reader 
with him despite his shortcomings. The plot is deeply in- 
teresting ; the characters are well drawn ; the language is at 
once tender, pathetic, bright, and sparkling; the story is so 
admirably constructed, and so well told, that we have nothing 
but words of praise to offer. "We congratulate the authoress of 
* Lady Audley's Secret ' upon a most decided success, and we 
strongly recommend ' Lost for Love ' to all classes of readers 
as the book of the season." — Court Journal, Oct. 10, 1874. 



"Miss Braddon's new book is in her later manner. Un- 
affected, simple, and easily written, it will disappoint her early 
admirers, and please that which we hope is a wider 



public. To leave the plot and turn to the flesh which is 

placed by Miss Braddon upon the dry bones, we will, without 
revealing all the details of the story, explain that, when we 
called ' Lost for Love ' simple and unaffected, we did not by any 
means intend to imply that there was nothing sensational in it. 
The sensational element is, however, subordinate, and is far 
from being left in a position of undue prominence in the reader's 
mind when he closes the book. . . Miss Braddon's ' Lost for 
Love' is less likely to be a^failure than a success." — Athmazv/m, 
Sept. 19, 1874. 



" It need hardly be said that it would not be easy to find any 
fresh criticism to offer on a writer who has been so long before 
the public, and whose merits and demerits have been so fully 
canvassed as Miss Braddon. Her novels . are invariably 

skilfully put together and readable. ... It would be a work of 
supererogation to attempt to give any detailed outline of a 
story which is pretty sure sooner or later to be in all our 
readers' hands ; it will be enough to say that its moral is to 
show how a naturally honourable and high-minded man may 
be led by love into a course altogether inconsistent with honour, 
uprightness, and good feeling — a doctrine which cannot be said 
to be preached here for the first time. The situation is very 
well conceived and described, and there is a certain nobility 
ibout the sinner, who, for the sake of his great love, is content 
\o forfeit even his own self-respect, which makes us ready to 
admit the excuses he could urge for his sin, and to rejoice that 
he turns out to have been less guilty than he believed. Jarred 
Gurner, the violin and picture 'restorer' of Voysey-street, 
Fitzroy-square, is a very good character; and so, too, is his 
mother, the proprietress of the ' ladies' wardrobe ' establishment, 
an avocation which has commended itself to her mind by reason 
of its ' gentility,' there being no weights or scales employed, as 
in mere plebeian trades ; whilst the daughter, Loo Gurner, quite 
bears away the palm in point of interest from Flora Chamney, 
the nominal heroine. Granting that ' Lost for Love ' wants some 



10 

of the freshness and vigour which distinguished its author's 
earliest novels, it yet affords a very favourable specimen of her 
powers, and we may confidently predict for it a warm welcome 
from her numerous admirers." — Graphic, Oct. 3, 1874. 



" Eeaders who are in the habit of judging Miss Braddon by 
her earlier works of fiction will find some difficulty in crediting 
her with the authorship of ' Lost for Love.' The well-defined and 
ingenious plot of this new story flows smoothly on, marked by 
few, if any, of those sensational incidents which formed the 
chief attractions of ' Lady Audley's Secret ' and ' Aurora Floyd.' 
Mi3s Braddon is to be congratulated on the development of a 
higher and more refined style. If she is not able, as before, to 
secure the admiration of the ' groundlings,' she will doubtless 
find her reward in the praise of the 'judicious.' The 

pictures of life in Yoysey-street are cleverly drawn ; Mrs. Gur- 
ner, the dealer in ladies' second-hand clothes ; her son Jarred 
Gurner, ' a professor of the art of doctoring pictures and of 
doctoring violins ; ' and her granddaughter Loo, who ' helped 
her grandmother in the business and housework, waited on the 
lodgers, ran errands, did whatever cleaning may have been done 
where everything seemed always dirty, and endured not a little 
reproof of a low-spirited kind, which the girl herself described 
as " nagging," from her elderly relatives ' — being most happily 
sketched. . . Miss Braddon deals out strictly poetical justice 
to all her characters, and brings an admirably -written novel to 
a highly artistic finish." — Leeds Mercury, Sept. 24, 1874. 



Lokdon : JOHN MAXWELL & Co. and all booksellers. 



CHEAP EDITION OF 

Wim Braddon's Novels 



Now ready, price 25. each; cloth gilt, 2s. 6d. 

i. lady audley's secret 

2. henry dunbar 

3. eleanor's victory 

4. aurora floyd 

5. john marchmonts legacy 

6. the doctor's wife 
only a clod 
sir jasper's tenant 
trail of the serpent 
lady's mile 
lady lisle 

captain of the vulture 
birds of prey 
charlotte's inheritance 
rupert godwin 
run to earth 
dead sea fruit 
ralph the bailiff 
fevton's ouest 
lovels of~arden 
robert ainsleigh 
the utter end 
mtlly darrell 
strangers and pilgrims 
.ucius davoren 
'"akkn at the flood 

ost for love 

1 s7l/nge world 
hostages to fortune 
dead mfn's shoes 
toshu haggard 
Weavers and weft 

Miss Braddoris other Novels will fellow in due sucr -'sien 


LONDON: J. & R. MAXWELL 



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8. 

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11. 
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21. 

22. 

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24. 

2 5, 
2 5. 

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4, SHOE LANE, E.C. 

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